Users’ Perception towards the “Safe Medication through Pharmacovigilance and Compliance Monitoring (Pharmacov)” Service

Users’ Perception towards the “Safe Medication through Pharmacovigilance and Compliance Monitoring (Pharmacov)” Service

George E. Karagiannis (Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK), Lida Tzachani (Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK), Vasileios G. Stamatopoulos (Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas, Heraklion, Greece), Athina Lazakidou (Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece), Dimitra Iliopoulou (Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece), Maria Petridou (University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK) and Michael A. Gatzoulis (Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/ijsbbt.2013010103
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Abstract

A feasibility study was conducted to evaluate the acceptability and effectiveness of the “Safe medication through pharmacovigilance and compliance monitoring (PharmacoV)” service, an Internet-based interactive information tool that assists physicians in identifying potential Adverse Drug Events (ADEs) or contraindications when they are prescribing medicinal products to patients. The users’ perception was assessed by the means of a structured questionnaire containing Likert type responses ranging from 1 to 5. Five hundred eighty nine (n=589) healthcare professionals were enrolled during an eight (8) month trial of the service in London, UK during 2007. The vast majority of the healthcare professionals who participated in the study was very enthusiastic about the PharmacoV concept and perceived clear benefits in terms of accessing drug information. The authors’ results suggest that a well-designed intervention study is possible. This will allow the evaluation of the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of the intervention in the context of the different European healthcare systems, and may gradually shape an optimal health care system. Their study is limited to the specific extend that the pilot trial of the service could not be implemented as part of the routine clinical practice of the participating physicians mainly because of the need to continuously update the service functionality during the execution of the study.
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Introduction

Pharmacovigilance (abbreviated PV or PhV), also known as Drug Safety, is the pharmacological science relating to the collection, detection, assessment, monitoring, and prevention of adverse effects with pharmaceutical products. Patient safety is a key dimension in the provision of quality healthcare and has become a major issue for all healthcare systems today. Adverse drug events (ADEs) are one of the most frequent types of adverse events affecting hospitalised patients, causing one (1) out of five (5) injuries or deaths per year to hospitalized patients (Leape et al., 1991; Brennan et al., 1991) and the fourth leading cause of death, according to the FDA (Monahan et al., 1990) & (Chan et al., 2001). It is not a coincidence that more than a quarter of a million patients in the United Kingdom and two to three million in the United States are admitted to hospitals showing harmful effects after taking drugs (BMA, 2006). Most health care organisations rely on spontaneous reporting, which cannot detect all adverse events. The use of electronic data can identify instantly the possible presence of ADEs (Wilson et al., 2004; Szarfman et al., 2002). Although Honigman et al. (2001) have investigated the use of EMR in detecting known ADEs, there have been no studies of data mining using EMR. Pharmacov [X] is an internet based information tool that assists physicians to identify potential adverse events or contraindications of drugs when they are prescribing drugs to patients. The application provides a multimodal web interface and no special configuration is required from the client side. It is easily accessible from any computer or computing device (e.g. PC, PDA and laptop) with a standard web browser (HTML 4.x browsers, including Internet Explorer (IE) Mobile and Opera Mobile). After following the website’ guidelines for registration and activation of their account, the users can log on by providing their username and password and choosing the preferred language interface of the service. Table 1 presents the main features of the service as well as its key user interface capabilities.

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