There is increasing evidence that patient safety can be improved by the introduction of an integrated computer-based medical care system in hospital settings. In this paper, we describe an integrated pharmaceutical information system (IPIS) in which a patient's profile including his/her medication records and prescriptions are collected from physician order entry systems and pharmaceutical systems along with the history of patient care in the hospital. Based on an individual patient's profile the IPIS can provide pharmaceutical education information specifically to meet the patient's needs. The IPIS has been developed and installed at Taipei Medical University Wanfang Hospital (TMUWFH) since July 2002. Evaluation of the system showed that it can help patients to effectively acquire drug information. This enables them to have a much better understanding of the pharmacological properties of the medicines they are taking, including adverse drug reactions and side-effects. In our opinion the system has the potential to improve both patient safety and treatment outcomes.
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