Winter 2007

h e a l t h   t e c h n o l o g y
Evaluating benefits of Pharmacy Network and its impact on seniors


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 The NLCHI is evaluating the benefits arising from the implementation of the different components of the Electronic Health Record (EHR). One study in particular focuses on the potential impact of the Pharmacy Network on medication use among the senior population.

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The Pharmacy Network is one of the core information systems that will be part of the provincial Electronic Health Record (EHR). The Centre for Health Information is managing the development of the provincial EHR on behalf of the Department of Health and Community Services. In support of this work, the Centre’s Research and Evaluation Department is evaluating the benefits arising from the implementation of the different components of the Electronic Health Record (EHR).

Benefits evaluation of the Pharmacy Network is currently under way. Through five studies, the Centre will examine the impact of the Pharmacy Network on the health system and health-care delivery in Newfoundland and Labrador.

One study in particular focuses on the potential impact of the Pharmacy Network on medication use among the senior population. The study, which has been approved by the Human Investigation Committee (ethics board) of Memorial University, will establish baseline data for comparison following implementation of the Pharmacy Network.

To complete the study, a team of seven pharmacists are conducting in-home interviews with seniors who have consented to participate in the study. During the visit, a pharmacist will record some information on the medications used by the senior, as well as ask them some questions about the health services they use. The study focuses on seniors 65 years or older, living with family and friends, or in their own home or apartment in the St. John’s or Mount Pearl area.

Since August, the Centre has been working to recruit seniors for the study. While recruitment and interviews are well under way, the Centre is still working to meet the required sample size of approximately 500 participants.

If you would like more information on the study or copies of the information flyer to display in your office or distribute to your patients, please email Kayla Collins, Manger, Research and Evaluation, or call her at 752-6045 .

Upon implementation, the provincial drug information system, the Pharmacy Network, will offer online, real-time, province-wide patient medication profiles, as well as comprehensive drug information and an interactive database that will assist health providers in identifying potential adverse drug interactions and events. Through the Pharmacy Network, health providers will have access to complete patient-specific drug profiles at the point of distribution and physicians will be able to enter and transmit medication orders online.

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