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Ever since the publication of the first edition of this book in 1996, there has been an increasing realization of the importance of information. Much of this can be related to the increased availability of Internet information sources throughout society, along with the ever increasing ease by which material can be located and used. This increased emphasis on information has had an effect on both the healthcare professional, who uses the material, and the patient, who may look up material directly and even bring it in to talk about with a pharmacist or physician. The ability to obtain, manage, evaluate and use information has become an important core skill for the professional.

It is to provide training in information management that this book was originally written. In this fourth edition, the goal of this book continues to be to educate both students and practitioners on how to efficiently research, interpret, evaluate, collate, and disseminate information in the most usable form. While there is no one right method to do perform these professional responsibilities, proven methods are presented and demonstrated. Also, seldom-addressed issues are covered, such as the legal and ethical considerations of providing information. In addition, besides normal updating of topics, many new topics and features have been added.

New to This Edition:

• A series of Key Concepts have been placed at the beginning of each chapter, which are then identified throughout the chapter.
• The main areas outlined in the Learning Objectives have now been highlighted throughout the chapter.
• Most chapters have Case Studies, in which a situation that might be faced by a practitioner is described, with a series of discussion points presented.
• In each chapter, a set of multiple-choice Self-Assessment Questions are presented and many chapters provide Suggested Readings for further information on topics.
• The drug literature evaluation chapters have been updated and expanded to cover newer concepts such as adaptive clinical trials.
• The chapter on statistics has been completely rewritten and greatly expanded to provide further information that allows the reader to determine whether appropriate statistical tests were conducted to evaluate data derived from clinical studies.
• The chapter that previously covered both adverse drug reactions and medication errors has been divided into two separate chapters, with an expansion of patient safety information.
• At the end of the book, five new chapters have been added. Drug information specialists are commonly involved in all of these new areas, as are many practicing pharmacists.
  • The first new chapter is on policy development, project design, and implementation. This chapter expands on the policy and procedure information in the chapter on professional writing and explores new areas.
  • Following this chapter, there are two new chapters that address the need for the ambulatory pharmacist to provide information; this topic expands to areas other than institutional practice, which tended to be the focus in previous editions. One chapter covers pharmacist practice needs in the area of drug information and the other chapter discusses dealing with patients and their information needs.
  • Following these chapters, there is a new chapter on what is necessary for training individuals in drug information.
• Finally, in a continued effort to expand information into newer areas, there is a chapter on drug information in both the pharmaceutical manufacturers' realm and regulatory affairs (i.e., United States Food and Drug Administration). Drug information practitioners in those two areas address similar topics, but from different viewpoints. This chapter provides information on both viewpoints.

With the veritable flood of drug, medical or pharmacy information available, much of which is complex, pharmacists have an increasing need for information management skills. This book will assist pharmacists or students in skills improvement in drug information and allow individuals to evolve into new roles for the advancement of the profession of pharmacy and patient care. We hope that you enjoy your journey toward expertise in information management.

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