IHE pharmacy trials a 'step forward' for medication integration

By Kelly Mehler
01:26 PM

The first real-time test of protocols for managing the prescription-dispensation process took place during the 11th annual IHE European Connectathon held in Pisa, Italy in April. These settings are now the new international communication standards to the pharmacy field.

Trials were carried out incorporating patients in both a community and hospital pharmacy environment, to demonstrate the interoperability of the data within other healthcare IT systems, including those used by bygeneral practitioners.

The open development methods of Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise guided the test at the Connectathon, as a workflow chart was presented for medication dispenses.

[See also: IHE-Europe eyes imaging standards to improve endoscopy.]

According to Jacqueline Surugue, IHE pharmacy co-chair for users, patients have two different types of faces: One with the hospital pharmacy and another with the community pharmacy. "The IHE Pharmacy Profiles are critically important to create a single, persistent patient record that can be shared with any other system using the readily available IHE Integration Profiles for seamless care between hospital and community," she said.

The integration profiles for the pharmacy field represent building blocks that allow new layers of drug prescription, dispensation and administration activities to be added.

[See also: Connectathon expands to weeklong program.]

"The testing success marks a solid step forward on the IHE development path and is a crowning achievement for four years of hard work by an international team of volunteers," said Jurgen Brandstätter, chair of the technical committee for the IHE Pharmacy Domain.

Validation occurred using four systems that had different roles in the prescription-dispensation process. The European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP), the National IT Institute for Healthcare in the Netherlands (NICTIZ) and Association Phast, non-profit organization-developing healthcare information technology standards, sponsors the IHE Pharmacy domain.

[See also: HITCH lays the foundation for EMR interoperability.]