Assessment tool for pharmacy drug-drug interaction software

J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2011 May-Jun;51(3):418-24. doi: 10.1331/JAPhA.2011.10054.


Objectives: To assess the performance of pharmacy clinical decision support (CDS) systems for drug-drug interaction (DDI) detection and to identify approaches for improving the ability to recognize important DDIs.

Practice description: Pharmacists rely on CDS systems to assist in the identification of DDIs, and research suggests that these systems perform suboptimally. The software evaluation tool described here may be used in all pharmacy settings that use electronic decision support to detect potential DDIs, including large and small community chain pharmacies, community independent pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, and governmental facility pharmacies.

Practice innovation: A tool is provided to determine the ability of pharmacy CDS systems to identify established DDIs. It can be adapted to evaluate potential DDIs that reflect local practice patterns and patient safety priorities. Beyond assessing software performance, going through the evaluation processes creates the opportunity to evaluate inadequacies in policies, procedures, workflow, and training of all pharmacy staff relating to pharmacy information systems and DDIs.

Conclusion: The DDI evaluation tool can be used to assess pharmacy information systems' ability to recognize relevant DDIs. Suggestions for improvement include determining whether the software allows for customization, creating standard policies for handling specific interactions, and ensuring that drug knowledge database updates occur frequently.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Pharmacy Information Systems*
  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical*
  • Drug Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Medication Errors / prevention & control
  • Pharmaceutical Services / organization & administration
  • Pharmacists / organization & administration
  • Software Validation