ASHP national survey on informatics: Assessment of the adoption and use of pharmacy informatics in U.S. hospitals—2013

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Results of the 2013 ASHP national survey on informatics are presented.


Pharmacy directors from all types and sizes of U.S. hospitals were included in the sample of 4893 individuals invited to participate in an online survey. The survey contained over 600 data elements that addressed the adoption and use of a variety of pharmacy informatics and technology. Data were analyzed by hospital type and size, accounting for sampling procedures and differences in response rate.


Of the 4893 surveys distributed, 465 usable surveys were returned, yielding a response rate of 9.5%. Nearly 33% of hospitals reported having a complete electronic health record (EHR) (i.e., no paper charts). Adoption rates for computerized prescriber order entry, clinical decision support, electronic prescribing, and bar-code-assisted medication administration indicated that these technologies are clear priorities. Nearly half of respondents indicated using solely paper-based medication reconciliation processes, while almost as many reported using processes that combined electronic and paper methods. Overall, automated dispensing cabinets were more common in U.S. hospitals than were carousels and dispensing robots. The adoption of patient portals and personal health records is becoming common. Technologies identified as enablers of the Pharmacy Practice Model Initiative (PPMI) were found in at least 25% of hospitals. The average total number of pharmacy information technology full-time equivalents was 3.12.


This survey found widespread use of pharmacy informatics and technology across the entire medication-use process. Considerable progress was demonstrated in meeting meaningful-use measures for EHRs and meeting the recommendations of the ASHP PPMI.

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