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Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2009 Nov 1;66(21):1934-8. doi: 10.2146/ajhp080534.

Use of pharmacy informatics resources by clinical pharmacy services in acute care hospitals.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacotherapy, College of Pharmacy, Washington State University, Spokane, USA.



The use of pharmacy informatics resources by clinical pharmacy services and the presence of a pharmacy informatics specialist in acute care hospitals were evaluated.


Two hundred randomly selected pharmacies in general medical and surgical hospitals in the United States with at least 100 acute care beds were surveyed via mail. Survey items gathered information regarding facility attributes, opinions about staff pharmacists' understanding of information technology, and departmental utilization of pharmacy informatics.


Of the 200 surveys mailed, 114 (57%) were returned completed. When asked to rate their departments' use of pharmacy informatics, 82% indicated that pharmacy informatics use was good or fair, while 12% considered information use to be optimized. A majority of respondents (60%) indicated that a pharmacy informatics specialist was employed within the pharmacy, with 47% indicating that the specialist was a pharmacist. An overwhelming percentage of these pharmacists received informatics training on the job, and roughly half had specialty positions integrated into their pharmacist job description. No significant association existed between the use of pharmacy informatics and facility teaching status (teaching versus nonteaching), geographic location (urban versus rural), or use of computerized prescriber order entry. Employment of a pharmacy informatics specialist was significantly associated with the use of such informatics applications as database mining, renal-dosing-rules engines, antibiotic-pathogen matching-rules engines, and pharmacokinetic-monitoring rules engines.


The use of clinical pharmacy informatics in patient care in acute care hospitals with at least 100 beds was significantly more likely when a pharmacy informatics specialist was present in the pharmacy. However, 4 in 10 hospital pharmacies did not employ a pharmacy informatics specialist.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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