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Use of an Electronic Pharmacy Database to Track Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Patient-Specific Dosing Information

Laura Duvall

K. Hawksworth


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Conference: 2011 PH Professional Network Symposium

Release Date: 09.22.2011

Presentation Type: Abstracts

L Duvall, PharmD, BCPS, K Hawksworth, RPh
The Ohio State University Medical Center, Department of Pharmacy, Columbus, OH

OBJECTIVE: To highlight the use of an online database managed and utilized internally within the pharmacy department at a large academic medical center to track patient specific dosing information for patients admitted on treprostinil or epoprostenol therapies.

SIGNIFICANCE: The Institute for Safe Medication Practices defines high-alert medications as drugs that bear a heightened risk of causing significant patient harm when they are used in error (ISMP, 2008). Per institutional policy, all prostanoids are classified as high-alert medications. These high-alert medications include treprostinil, epoprostenol, and iloprost which are used in the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Reducing errors with the use of prostanoids is essential to ensuring patient safety during hospital admission within the PAH patient population.

DESIGN: In 2004, a web-based application was built to track all admissions within the medical center of patients receiving epoprostenol. The application was later expanded to include treprostinil and iloprost therapies. The "Pulmonary Hypertension Patient Database", as the application is named, allows for a patient specific profile to be created that keeps track of medication dosing parameters across an infinite number of hospital admissions. All patient data is stored and retrieved from a backend database located in the Medical Center's data center. Access to the database is restricted and follows the necessary requirements for HIPAA compliance. Pharmacy clinicians view, create and update patient records using any of the common web browsers currently on the market.

IMPLICATIONS: The Pulmonary Hypertension Patient Database is utilized on a daily basis by pharmacy personnel to ensure safe dosing of all prostaglandin medications. The database is especially useful when a patient is admitted to the hospital and unable to communicate their dosing information. In this case, the database provides the pharmacist with historical dosing information from previous admissions. This historical information can be utilized in combination with verification of dosing parameters from the medication supplier to ensure a safe transition of care to hospital supplied therapy.