, Volume 62, Issue 4, pp 251-258
Date: 22 Mar 2006

Janus computerised prescribing system provides pharmacological knowledge at point of care – design, development and proof of concept

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Abstract

Objective

To develop and verify proof of concept for a user-defined prescribing system with decision support based on one single database consisting of several pharmacological sources.

Methods

A multidisciplinary working group within the framework of a two-phase project developed the tool. A small-scale pilot study for proof of concept was carried out in an outpatient neurological polyclinic where four experienced physicians used the tool in patient care on a daily basis.

Results

Automatically generated functions, such as recommended drugs, alerts for interactions, alerts for drug therapy during pregnancy and breast-feeding and a search tool for adverse drug effects, were quickly adopted into the daily outpatient working regime. Functions such as treatment strategies and a link to a producer independent website were less frequently used but still rated as useful and educational.

Conclusion

Searches for information that can be concentrated in one system saves time. Alerts inevitably draw physicians’ attention to the information. Instant availability to drug recommendations in a computerised prescribing system such as Janus should increase adherence to recommendations, but this needs to be evaluated systematically. Small-scale pilot studies such as the one reported here have been shown to be invaluable in providing the theoretical basis for implementation of the system and for gaining an understanding of the complex change processes involved. Small-scale projects can therefore provided a base for further development and broader implementation of pharmacological tools and services.