While drugs and related products have profoundly changed the lives of people around the world, ongoing challenges remain, including inappropriate use of a drug product. Inappropriate uses can be explained in part by ambiguous or incomplete information, for example, missing reasons for treatments, ambiguous information on how to take a medication, or lack of information on medication-related events outside the health care system. In order to fully assess the situation, data from multiple systems (electronic medical records, pharmacy and radiology information systems, laboratory management systems, etc.) from multiple organizations (outpatient clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, laboratories, pharmacies, registries, governments) on a large geographical scale is needed. Formal knowledge models like ontologies can help address such an information integration challenge. Existing approaches like the Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership are discussed and contrasted with the use of ontologies and systems using them for data integration. The PRescription Drug Ontology 2.0 (PDRO 2.0) is then presented and entities that are paramount in addressing this problematic are described. Finally, the benefits of using PDRO are discussed through a series of exemplar situation.
Keywords: data annotation; drug ontology; drug prescription; medication management; ontology development; optimization of prescription.