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Inform Health Soc Care. 2008 Sep;33(3):151-7. doi: 10.1080/17538150802184828.

The pharmaceutical management system at Shade Tree Family Clinic: a medical student-run free clinic's experience.

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Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37235, USA.


The Shade Tree Family Clinic (STFC) is a student-run free walk-in health clinic opened by Vanderbilt University medical students in October 2005 to address the acute and chronic health needs of the underinsured community in East Nashville. STFC founders decided that the clinic would provide complete medical care, including dispensing commonly prescribed medications at no charge to patients. After several months of managing the inventory in a log book, a medical student author created a Web-based pharmaceutical tracking system to manage the medication formulary. In the process, the authors found little literature available addressing the logistics of setting up an electronic pharmacy system. The system created uses the freely available RxNorm and US Department of Veterans Affairs National Drug File Reference Terminology databases for medication and classification data. Incorporation of these databases allows medical students to dispense and restock medications with ease. The system ensures accurate data entry, improves efficiency, and facilitates continuity of care at a clinic staffed by hundreds of different students and physicians. The STFC pharmaceutical tracking system has facilitated the acquisition and efficient management of medications and consequently has had a great impact on the success of STFC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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