Overview of Pharmacy Informatics



all right so I've been getting a lot of questions about the day and life of a informatics pharmacist and a informatics pharmacist even it to be honest I've been completely avoiding this question like a politician but I figured I put something out there to kind of shed a little bit of light on this field at the very basic level we are individuals that understand both the clinical and non-clinical domains of health care I like to think of it kind of as a liaison between pharmacy and information technology because of that it may sound kind of a surprise to you but one of the skills that you need for this field is communication opposed to what a lot of individuals might think people who are in this field are typically you know very introverted don't communicate much stuck in a cubicle and try to play a lot of games and it's kind of a nerd there's got that's me but you know that's that's not anyone else but similar to how we communicate differently when counseling patients versus speaking with other healthcare providers we have to be able to communicate clinically when working with our clinical folks and technically when speaking with our technical folks all right so for a quick rundown of what informatics pharmacists does we like to use the term medication use process and we like to say what we do encompass the entire medication use process I kind of think of it like the lifecycle of a medication from the time the medication is ordered until the medication is administered granted there are many many steps before medication or is ordered and many steps after a medication is administered so things like supply chain transitions of care and outpatient workflows really should be considered in this entire medication use process but that's kind of beyond what I want to talk about today all right so one of the easiest examples I'm going to use to explain is computerized provider order entry or CPOE if you don't know what that is it's kind of the process in which providers can place orders for medications or procedures electronically let's say they place in order for an antibiotic like vancomycin you know so you know what should what should they see when they search for it you know what doses should they see how often should they be allowed to order that medication should there be a button that allows them to order their beloved one q12 should we include a button for 15 mix per King 20 mix per cake 35 mix per cake you know is that even appropriate and that's kind of where informatics pharmacist comes in we use our clinical knowledge to determine what is appropriate and leverage our knowledge of the information technology tools to make that happen moving on to the verification steps by our pharmacist we helped design the screens that our pharmacist see when they verify these medications we know that pharmacists need to see information like what medications the patient was on prior to being emitted what what allergies the patient has to various medications you know what was their last serum crack knee so we can calculate the estimated cracking clearance and because we are pharmacists we have that type a personality where we're probably going to do it for the ideal body weight adjusted body weight and totally now moving on to dispensing a hospital typically employs automation technology to carry out their needs the most common example here our automated dispensing cabinets or ADCs for short a two most common ones you prior to about our Pyxis or omni cells you can basically think of these as huge dressing cabinets up with each drawer having multiple pockets for medications now when a provider order is a medication which is subsequently verified by pharmacists and interface message is sent over to these ADC so when the nurse goes to administer medications that are due for the patient only the appropriate medications pop open so the nurse can retrieve it and give it to the patient it really helps to improve safety and it gets medications to the patient in a very timely and efficient manner one of my most favorite things about pharmacy informatics is reporting and analytics there's a huge reporting need in healthcare in general to meet goals for compliance metrics and to make sure folks are doing what they're supposed to be doing the same goes for pharmacy so some examples here are formulary compliance or a code medication administration compliance and turnaround time for time critical meds as in informatics pharmacists we understand how the data is stored into the electronic health record and we have the skills to query that data analyze it and present it in a very useful manner to our managers and directors so they can make these business decisions on decisions that are well above my paygrade so that's kind of a very generalized overview of pharmacy informatics and I'm just gonna transition a little bit to what I do and how that kind of differs from one informatics pharmacists to the next at Mayo I'm personally in charge of positioning the antimicrobial stewardship program the infection control program and a portion of the clinical decision support rules currently in Mayo into epic for a stewardship I design build and implement the tools that our stewardship providers use to carry out various interventions so things like building a rule that finds patients that are on a potential bug drug mismatch I use my clinical knowledge of what is an effective treatment for that particular pathogen build rules to find those patients for our providers so they can intervene on those patients and to get them the appropriate treatments for infection control one of the main things I do is the build of the regulatory reports that are required for NHSN and if you didn't know it's kind of a regulatory requirement to report on various types of hospital-acquired infection oh I designed the tools or reports that our infection preventionists use to find these patients that have these infections abstract that information and ultimately export it out to the NHSN for auditing and reimbursement purposes that's kind of what I do in a nutshell but the roles and responsibilities of informatics pharmacists really differ depending on a lot of things like the organizational size your leadership what vendor did you go with for your electronic health record the resources that your institution has and many others it just to give you a couple of examples I was at a large community hospital about 819 beds during my PGI one residency and the pharmacy informatics team was comprised of just two individuals they really did it all basically everything I described in they were my very first informatics mentors but I was very fortunate to have received very well-rounded training now in contrast in larger institutions with multiple hospitals for example at my pgy too in Utah it's very common to be specialized like they had someone that was kind of the point for order set build someone else that was the point for building into alliance and someone else that was point for reporting purposes we had about seven individuals on our pharmacy informatics team course that's not always the case at larger institutions like I said earlier it really depends though to give an example at Mayo we have about 30 or so individuals on our farm scene from agus team working on the epic project at Mayo we're not only multiple hospitals but were multiple hospitals in multiple states but there are a lot of considerations that we have to think about like eight specific regulation hospital size so we have very large hospitals down to the small 50 bed critical access hospitals as I kind of stated before I specialized somewhat in the infectious disease Brown but my colleagues specialize in areas like anesthesia research oncology automation technology and things of that sort basically the point is depending on your role and organization and all these other factors it really differs from one informatics pharmacist to the next all right so hopefully this was kind of helpful if you have any further questions comments suggestions leave them in the comments below until next time you

16 Comments

  1. Abeer Alashwali said:

    A very good content but a loud and confusing music.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  2. Laxman Guptha said:

    Hi brother.
    I have a big question for you .

    Am pharmacy graduate and I have a diploma in pharmacy and I have almost 7 years experience in sales and marketing .
    Can you please advise me. Am I eligible for pharmacy informatics course .
    And please give a suggestion and please give clarification on pharmacy informatics .
    If you please possible send me a mail to me. Am so thankful to your help .of you do this for me.This is my email address

    [email protected]

    Thanks in advance.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  3. Lawrence Moore said:

    Hey Brian, great video! If you were interviewing someone for a pharmacist informatics position, what type of questions would you ask?

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  4. ran said:

    Hi!
    do you need to have any speciall skills or education in programming or in computer to work in pharmacy informatics ?

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  5. Klarenxe Blood said:

    What are the certifications for Pharmacy Informatics?

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  6. Solo B said:

    I'm really glad I stumbled upon your video! Very informative! Questions though,
    1. You said you build and design order sets and interventions….how? Do you program or reprogram existing software? What programming language?

    2. You got epic training from your organization and that was a must. If a hospital uses Cerner, would the expectations be the same as Epic? Must become certified?

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  7. job1n said:

    Can you please tell me the difference between a Clinical Pharmacist and an Informatics Pharmacist? Do both these jobs require a Pharm.D? Does all Hospitals use these methods of Informatics Pharmacy? I hope you'd answer these questions. Thank You.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  8. The Merg Project said:

    Are you also a programmer? It seems like you need programming knowledge to do this job. I have a masters in computer science and I am also a pharmacist too who works as a part time software engineer!

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  9. Ruslan Nurakhmetov said:

    great video, bro. I’m pharmacy student and always wanted to combine that pharmacy knowledge with something progressive, like IT. it’s so inspiring to know that thing like that already exists 😂 is it possible to get job in this field for foreigners(I’m from Kazakhstan)? or do you know something about positions of pharmacy infotmatics in the world? thanks in advance!

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  10. dani nicole said:

    Great info, I’m a P1… just trying to open my eyes to different career options. But I love being around people, just not at cvs lol

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  11. Jihao Luo said:

    Dear Brian, I am a Biomedical engineering international student (holding f-1 visa) in ncsu and unc chapel hill. The pharmacy informatics sounds very interesting to me and seem to reach my major’s criteria. I am currently looking for an internship right now, do you know how can I get trained for working in the field? How can I apply for such position? Where should I apply in? Do I need a medical school degree?
    Thank you

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  12. Terrance Forrest Jr said:

    If you are Pharmacy Technician do u have to have a Pharmacy degree or can you get certification to work as a Pharmacist Informatic?

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  13. Dennis Kahara said:

    Where can i get a scholarship to study pharmacy informatics?

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  14. Jess Gonzalez said:

    For the bug drug mismatch. Is this a report the physician gets daily or a dashboard accessible for those specific physicians can access via EPIC? Sentri 7 was a program I've used to help pharmacist focus on certain issues (antibiotics stewardship, INRs, CrCl, etc). Despite EPIC also a similar capabilities?

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  15. Tracey Nguyen said:

    Great overview!

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  16. mooimeisje85 said:

    Awesome! thanks. Did you need to take IT classes to be able to do that part of your job ? Or was it just pharmacy school?

    May 23, 2019
    Reply

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