Methods Inf Med 2014; 53(05): 336-343
DOI: 10.3414/ME14-01-0040
Original Articles
Schattauer GmbH

Memorandum on the Use of Information Technology to Improve Medication Safety

E. Ammenwerth
1  Institute of Health Informatics, University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology (UMIT), Hall in Tirol, Austria
,
A.-F. Aly
2  Drug Commission of the German Medical Association, Berlin, Germany
,
T. Bürkle
3  Chair of Medical Informatics, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
,
P. Christ
4  Medizinische Medien Information, Neu Isenburg, Germany
,
H. Dormann
5  Department of Emergency Medicine, Klinikum Fürth, Fürth, Germany
,
W. Friesdorf
6  Institute for Health Care Systems Management Berlin, Berlin, Germany
,
C. Haas
7  DIMDI – German Institute of Medical Documentation and Information, Köln, Germany
,
W. E. Haefeli
8  Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacoepidemiology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
,
M. Jeske
9  Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Institute of Pharmacy, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
,
J. Kaltschmidt
8  Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacoepidemiology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
,
K. Menges
10  Federal Institute for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices (BfArM), Bonn, Germany
,
H. Möller
2  Drug Commission of the German Medical Association, Berlin, Germany
,
A. Neubert
11  Department of Paediatric and Adolescents Medicine, University Hospital Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany
,
W. Rascher
11  Department of Paediatric and Adolescents Medicine, University Hospital Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany
,
H. Reichert
12  Master of Science in Medical Informatics, Berlin, Germany
,
J. Schuler
13  Institute of General Practice, Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria
,
G. Schreier
14  Assistive Healthcare Information Technology, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Graz, Austria
,
S. Schulz
15  Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Documentation, Medical University of Graz, Austria
,
H. M. Seidling
16  Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacoepidemiology, Cooperation Unit Clinical Pharmacy, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
,
W. Stühlinger
17  Department of Public Health and Health Technology Assessment, University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology (UMIT), Hall in Tirol, Austria
,
M. Criegee-Rieck
3  Chair of Medical Informatics, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received:16 March 2014

accepted:01 May 2014

Publication Date:
20 January 2018 (online)

Summary

Background: Information technology in health care has a clear potential to improve the quality and efficiency of health care, especially in the area of medication processes. On the other hand, existing studies show possible adverse effects on patient safety when IT for medication-related processes is developed, introduced or used inappropriately.

Objectives: To summarize definitions and observations on IT usage in pharmacotherapy and to derive recommendations and future research priorities for decision makers and domain experts.

Methods: This memorandum was developed in a consensus-based iterative process that included workshops and e-mail discussions among 21 experts coordinated by the Drug Information Systems Working Group of the German Society for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology (GMDS).

Results: The recommendations address, among other things, a stepwise and comprehensive strategy for IT usage in medication processes, the integration of contextual information for alert generation, the involvement of patients, the semantic integration of information resources, usability and adaptability of IT solutions, and the need for their continuous evaluation.

Conclusion: Information technology can help to improve medication safety. However, challenges remain regarding access to information, quality of information, and measurable benefits.