What Does a Pharmacy Informaticist do?

Pharmacy informatics is a scientific area that deals with information related to the use of medication in the healthcare field. In the area of medication, and the related health and patient outcomes, it involves:

  • acquirement
  • storage
  • evaluation
  • use
  • distribution

Individuals interested in this field may inquire about what a pharmacy informaticist does. A pharmacy informaticist, also referred to as an informatics pharmacist, is a dual expert in both pharmacy practice and health informatics. He or she is able to look at both the small details and processes of the field as well as the larger picture. A pharmacy informaticist is involved in:

  • pharmacy practice
  • evaluating health informatics
  • developing policies and procedures

Pharmacy Practice

A pharmacy informaticist evaluates the practice of the pharmacy field from an analytical design point of view. His or her main goal is to ensure the safety of all patients.  pharmacy informaticists use their expertise of the pharmacy practice and medication use and processes to recommend modifications for healthcare facilities. They provide education to professionals and managers in healthcare. They act as  resources for medical facility employees. The also offer recommendations on the selection of pharmaceutical vendors.  Informatics pharmacists also work as liaisons between pharmacy departments and other areas.

Analyzes Health Informatics Technologies

Pharmacy informaticists have a strong understanding of a variety of technologies as they are related to the medical field. They evaluate various health informatics technologies from a clinical and operational viewpoint. They have a strong working knowledge of:

  • information systems
  • healthcare technology
  • automation

They provide guidance and leadership for all technology plans related to medication. They work to modify and adapt health information systems and technology to meet the pharmacy practice requirements. Informatics pharmacy professionals help users assess and select applications, hardware, and software for specific departments based on their needs. They also evaluate and make configuration modifications to the technical system to provide essential data in a format that is useful to the department. Informatics pharmacists strive to maximize the design of the technology to generate the best clinical outcomes.

Policies and Procedures

Since the pharmacy model is rapidly changing with the introduction of information technology, many pharmacy informaticists serve on multi-disciplinary committees or teams that work on pharmacy information solutions, including:

  • planning
  • design
  • documentation
  • maintenance
  • execution of pharmacy

They work with new healthcare related technologies, such as medication administration using barcodes and computerized medication entry. They work with other professionals to develop and implement standards in information systems related to the pharmacy practice. They strive to:

  • increase safety of medications
  • decrease cost
  • boost efficiency of medications

Development and implementation of new procedures strive to reduce medical errors in the pharmacy field. This is done by improving systems and helping with creating new methods for better use of medications.

Working as a pharmacy informaticist is a great choice for individuals with extensive clinical pharmacy experience. They enjoy working with technology and seek to use it to improve patient care in the field. These professionals are on the frontline of improving current technology in the medical field. As new technologies continue to emerge in the medical field, pharmacy informatics will continue to become an essential area to advance the care of patients and encourage the effective delivery of medications.