Linking hospitals to province-wide pharmacies to prevent medication harm

Software that shares patient information between hospital and community care providers has the ability to protect patients from adverse drug reactions.

Harm caused by the use or misuse of prescription medications leads to around two million visits to emergency departments, 700,000 hospital admissions and $1 billion in health care expenditures in Canada each year. Known as adverse drug events (ADEs), they rank between the fourth and sixth leading causes of death in Canada. 

While repeat ADEs are preventable, they have resulted in around 1,500 deaths in B.C. alone each year.

Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI) researcher Dr. Corinne Hohl and her team are investigating the integration of Hohl’s ActionADE software with the provincial PharmaNet system, which has linked together B.C. community pharmacy prescription information in one centralized place since 1995.

Hohl’s precedent-setting ActionADE software makes it possible for the first time to connect hospital pharmacies with all community pharmacies in the province.

“ActionADE is groundbreaking because it links the community pharmacists into the circle of care, granting them access to adverse drug event information from hospitals whenever hospital care providers record an ADE into the ActionADE system.”

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