Confusion and varying opinions regarding the role of pharmacy in informatics remains the norm

Because I am a member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (AHSP) I have access to the ASHP Pharmacy Informatics and Technology section listserv. Listservs are a great source of information, and as the name implies, this one is particularly good for getting information on all things related to pharmacy automation, technology and informatics.

A recent post on the informatics listserv caught my attention. The thread was started by a pharmacist asking what skills are necessary for a career in pharmacy informatics. Several pharmacists have chimed in with some great advice, while others have given what I consider to be less than helpful advice. Needless to say the responses have been all over the board as there is no universally accepted definition of what an informatics pharmacists does. Some pharmacists have recommended gaining skill in specific areas, i.e. reporting, HL7 ,etc, while others have taken a broad approach by offering advice on gaining experience in operations, project management, leadership and workflow concept and design.

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Where is pharmacy informatics headed?

Recently I read an interesting article in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy. The question of what defines a pharmacy informaticist was raised. I’ve mused over that question many times myself. Because there is no standardized definition for a pharmacy informaticist, it is extremely difficult to define their role. A look at the many different job descriptions for IT pharmacists posted on the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) website is testimony to that.

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