Linking laboratory and medication data: new opportunities for pharmacoepidemiological research

Clin Chem Lab Med. 2007;45(1):13-9. doi: 10.1515/CCLM.2007.009.


Transfer of automated laboratory data collected during routine clinical care from the laboratory information system into a database format that enables linkage to other administrative (e.g., patient characteristics) or clinical (e.g., medication, diagnoses, procedures) data provides a valuable tool for clinical epidemiological research. It allows the investigation of biochemical characteristics of diseases, therapeutic effects and diagnostic and/or prognostic markers for disease with easy access and at relatively low cost. To this end, the Utrecht Patient Oriented Database (UPOD), an infrastructure of relational databases comprising data on patient characteristics, laboratory test results, medication orders, hospital discharge diagnoses and medical procedures for all patients treated at the University Medical Centre Utrecht since January 2004, was established. Current research within UPOD is focused on the innovative linkage of laboratory and medication data, which, for example, makes it possible to assess the quality of pharmacotherapy in clinical practice, to investigate interference between laboratory tests and drugs, to study the risk of adverse drug reactions, and to develop diagnostic and prognostic markers or algorithms for adverse drug reactions. Although recently established, we believe that UPOD broadens the opportunities for clinical pharmacoepidemiological research and can contribute to patient care from a laboratory perspective.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Laboratory Information Systems*
  • Clinical Pharmacy Information Systems*
  • Hospital Information Systems
  • Humans
  • Medical Record Linkage*
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized*
  • Pharmacoepidemiology / methods*