CPhA making database accessible through EMRs
January 18, 2017
OTTAWA – The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is now enabling the developers of EMRs to integrate their systems with CPhA’s drug (CPS) and therapeutics platform, RxTx. The integration will allow clinicians to access important Canadian drug and evidence-based disease information without leaving their electronic charting systems – saving them time and trouble and enhancing the quality of care for patients.
The CPhA is now demonstrating the integration to EMR and Pharmacy system providers across Canada. Among the first users will be physicians with the OSCAR electronic charting program, an open-source systems solution.
Currently, many front-line physicians do not have access to online, clinical decision support tools; those who do are sometimes required to close their electronic patient record and open another program, a time-consuming process. The RxTx integration, in contrast, will provide access to a wealth of data in just two mouse clicks, from within the EMR.
Among the drug information doctors will see includes: adverse drug effects, contraindications, Health Canada alerts and drug interactions – all of which can have a serious impact on patient care.
“Most appointments with physicians are just 10 minutes long. In that time the doctor has to listen to the patient, conduct an assessment and determine a course of treatment, all with the pressure of other people in the waiting room. Often, doctors want to check on something, but if they don’t have quick access to information, it may not happen,” commented Lyndon McPhail (pictured), senior product manager at CPhA.
McPhail noted that RxTx is a source of evidence-based data about medications and therapeutics that can keep established doctors well informed on current, evidence-based medicine. It can also provide residents and new doctors with the best therapies for conditions and diseases they have not frequently encountered.
As well, it is expected to reduce the number of patient callbacks, which can occur when doctors tell patients they will get back to them after researching a drug or therapeutic option. Using the RxTx integration, clinicians can conduct the research in minutes, right at the point of care.
The solution is also expected to reduce the potential volume of calls between doctors and pharmacists, as physicians will have direct access to up-to-date information about medications.
“And it’s especially important for Health Canada Advisories, Warnings and Recalls,” said McPhail. “A clinic will typically receive a fax blast from Health Canada, and the information is posted on the wall or internally circulated. But it’s up to the doctor to notice the alert and remember it. With our solution, there’s an alert right in the EMR, wherever that particular drug may appear.”
The CPhA is well-known as the source of the e-CPS drug database, as well as the e-Therapeutics platform, now known as RxTx. These systems are often available in hospitals and large medical organizations with plentiful resources. The EMR integration is now making them available to smaller clinics, as well.
“As the only fully Canadian solution offering bilingual, Health Canada-approved drug monographs and evidence-based therapeutic information, our content is critical to clinicians treating Canadian patients, and thus, our online user-base continues to grow,” said McPhail.
With a reported reach of over 200,000 healthcare practitioners who perform over 5 million searches annually in RxTx, the solution commands the respect and confidence of Canadian clinicians.
So the obvious question is: When and how can I get this? McPhail explained that the development work is complete and CPhA is now reaching out to pharmacy and EMR vendors to discuss the integration process.
“CPhA has done all the heavy lifting on development for this integration solution. We knew that in order for 3rd party vendors to get this into their roadmaps in a timely fashion, it must be a quick development cycle. I believe that we have accomplished that,” said McPhail. “Vendors have many competing priorities, and based on personal experience, development priorities are often based on value and user demand.”
Access to CPhA drug and therapeutic content is subscription-based; however, a recent agreement with Joule, a Canadian Medical Association (CMA) company, now provides a CPS drug content subscription to CMA members as an exclusive benefit.
The RxTx Integration Solution fully supports the Canadian healthcare market’s transition from the adoption of EMRs to ensuring meaningful use. “Adopting evidence-based medicine in practice has a direct correlation to better health outcomes,” observed McPhail. “With such high demands for patient visits, it can be difficult for healthcare practitioners to keep up with the current therapeutic evidence and Canadian guidelines. Ensuring these clinical decision-support tools are available directly at the point of care, without interruption to practice workflow, is critical for both the practitioners and their patients.”
For more information on the RxTx Integration Solution, visit www.pharmacists.ca/integration.