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Wednesday, 20th July 2011

How Should Drugs be Identified in Electronic Prescribing Systems?

Source: RAND Corporation

From the summary:

Electronic prescribing systems hold the promise of preventing errors in prescribing and dispensing drugs. However, these systems are not working as well as they should because there has been no standard way of precisely identifying the drug that the prescriber intends. Currently, the standard source for computer-interpretable drug identifiers in e-prescribing transactions is the Food and Drug Administration's National Drug Code (NDC) Directory. But the directory has not been accurately maintained, and, furthermore, it was designed to distinguish among drug packages and drug sources rather than to represent a physician's intent when prescribing. The ideal system of drug identifiers would have one unique identifier for every clinically distinct medication available — where clinically distinct refers to differences that are important to patient outcomes, not matters of production or distribution.

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An Info Pro, librarian, entrepreneur, author, worldwide connector and book-lover, Heather Negley is recognized for her new ways of thinking about librarianship, research, social media and creativity. Heather is the founder of HelpALibrarian.com and Zing Information Services. She has most recently been an Information Research Specialist with the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress where she provided business research for members of Congress and their staffs. Heather also worked as a research reporter for U.S. News and World Report and as a technical advertising producer on the washingtonpost.com. She received her MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College in Boston, MA.

Heather can be reached at heather.negley@freepint.com

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