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Brent I. Fox is assistant professor of Pharmacy Care Systems at the Harrison School of Pharmacy at Auburn University. He received a Pharm.D. from Auburn and then worked in the software development industry prior to returning to Auburn, where he earned a PhD. Brent's education, outreach, and research efforts focus on improving medication use through health information technology.

Mark Siska is the Assistant Director of Informatics and Technology for Pharmacy Services at Mayo Clinic Rochester. Mark is the past chair of the American Society of Health System Pharmacists Section of Informatics and Technology and has served or continues to serve on a number Healthcare IT advisory committees and workgroups most recently the Pharmacy e-Health Collaborative. He received his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Degree from the University of Illinois, College of Pharmacy in 1980, completed his Hospital Pharmacy Resident training at Mayo Clinic Rochester in 1981 and completed his MBA in technology management in 2007.

After completing this chapter, readers should be able to

  1. Describe key drivers for technology and automation in pharmacy practice.

  2. List and describe the domains of the pharmacist's role in health information technology.

  3. List the technologies involved at each step in the medication use process.

  4. Describe the goal of closed-loop medication management systems.

  5. List the elements of a request for proposal as it relates to vendor selection for procuring health information technology resources.

  6. Describe four ways to manage change related to health information technology.

  7. Describe the types of backup options for pharmacy information management systems.

  8. List five questions to consider when planning a backup procedure for a pharmacy information management system.

  9. Describe the role of best practices for pharmacy information management systems.

  10. Describe the role and future implications of interoperability for pharmacy practice.

Charlie Chodavarapu completed his Pharm.D. training several years ago and accepted a staff pharmacist position with a local community pharmacy. Charlie recently started spending some of his free time working at the local hospital. Charlie has been reminded of the distinct differences found between his primary practice in the community and his periodic practice experiences in the institutional setting. The most obvious difference is that his role at the hospital does not involve addressing insurance coverage issues. When he is in the hospital, Charlie distinctly misses the opportunity to directly interact with his patients as he does on a daily basis in the community. Despite these and many other differences, Charlie has been most surprised by the similarities found across the two practice settings.

The similarities that Charlie did not expect were found in the use of technology in both practice settings. Charlie's community practice is completely reliant upon information technology (IT) and automation to perform administrative, clinical, and distributive functions. Through his work in the hospital, Charlie has had the opportunity to look closely at the daily workflow of hospital pharmacists, opening his eyes to the fact that institutional pharmacy practice is equally reliant ...

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