Drug databases have become a critical tool for healthcare professionals seeking to make informed decisions about medication therapy, as well as for health tech companies looking to enhance their products and deliver value to patients. With access to comprehensive drug information, these databases can improve clinical decision-making, save healthcare professionals time, and improve patient outcomes. In this article, we will explore the advantages of drug databases, their use cases, the challenges of building and integrating them, and factors to consider when selecting the right drug database for your organization.
The Advantages of Drug Databases for Healthcare Professionals and Health Tech Companies
Drug databases are a go-to source for healthcare professionals looking to make informed decisions about medication therapy. They are also essential for health tech companies looking to enhance their products and deliver value to healthcare professionals and patients. Drug databases provide access to comprehensive and up-to-date information on drugs, including molecule information, interactions, contraindications, side effects, and more. They support evidence-based decision-making and improve the quality of care provided to patients by granting access to the latest research and drug data. Additionally, drug databases can save healthcare professionals time and effort in searching for information, allowing them to focus on providing care to their patients.
Use Cases for Drug Databases
Drug databases have several use cases, including electronic health records, telehealth and remote patient monitoring, and e-prescribing.
Electronic Health Records
to be ONC-certified health I.T., EHRs must have Drug-Drug and Drug-Allergy interaction checkers for computerized provider order entry.
Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring
Workflows and challenges unique to telehealth and remote patient monitoring can benefit from fast, reliable drug information right at a doctor’s fingertips.
Safely sending electronic prescriptions requires drug information, and Surescripts requires a drug database to send prescriptions on their network.
Building and Integrating a Drug Database is Complex
Creating a drug database requires a broad range of skills and advanced tools to ensure drug data quality. Updating the database regularly is crucial due to the constantly evolving nature of drug knowledge. Advanced tooling is necessary, such as knowledge extraction algorithms and an efficient back office for database edition. Maintaining interoperability with standard terminologies is challenging and requires ongoing work. Data models underlying drug databases are complex and need customization to fit specific use cases. Partnering with the drug database vendor is essential to address incomplete and unintuitive documentation. A user-centric approach requires significant effort, including UX research and front-end development work.
"As a healthcare technology company, we often hear the misconception that building a drug database is a simple task. However, it is important to note that it requires a significant amount of resources and effort to create and maintain a reliable drug database. Although there are public resources available, such as Rx Norm and free drug information, commercial drug databases require approximately 10,000 updates each year due to the constant changes and advancements in the field. To effectively maintain and serve clients through APIs and UI components for software, a full-time team is needed. Therefore, building your own drug database is not a viable option if you want an efficient and up-to-date resource." Clement Goehrs, MD, MSC, CEO & Co-Founder at Synapse Medicine
Factors for Selecting a Drug Database
When selecting a drug database, several factors should be considered, including quality and reliability, approval by regulatory bodies, price, and ease of integration. Ensure that the database is an accurate source of information. Approval by Surescripts is an important factor to consider when selecting a drug database for e-prescribing software. This ensures that the database meets standards for data accuracy, regulatory compliance, and security. Consider the cost of access fees, as well as other expenses like integration costs, maintenance fees, and developer hours. Ensure that the database can be easily integrated into your healthcare software and is user-friendly for healthcare professionals.
Quality and Reliability
Ensure that the database is a credible and accurate source of information.
Approval by Surescripts
Approval by Surescripts is an important factor to consider when selecting a drug database for e-prescribing software. (meet standards for data accuracy, regulatory compliance, and security).
Consider the cost of access fees, as well as other expenses like integration costs, maintenance fees, and developer hours.
Ensure that the database can be easily integrated into your healthcare software and is user-friendly for healthcare professionals.
"Most of the legacy drug database providers are large companies with databases built over a decade or two. However, their data models and extensive documentation can be difficult to understand and navigate. It can take significant effort to customize the databases to meet your needs. Additionally, the documentation can span hundreds of pages, and there are often no modern APIs available to easily extract the necessary drug information. At Synapse Medicine, we recognized these challenges and built a user-friendly and customizable drug database to provide an easy integration experience for any healthcare organization." Clement Goehrs, MD, MSC, CEO & Co-Founder at Synapse Medicine
Synapse Medicine Is More than Just a Drug Database
This is a broad overview of the clinical decision support components that Synapse Medicine offers. It's not an exhaustive list since we are constantly creating new components to enhance our support for healthcare providers.
"At Synapse Medicine, we're on a mission to provide a drug database that's always up-to-date and easy to integrate. We do this by using public information, collaborating with different commercial drug databases, and providing a clinical decision support system. We have addressed the pain points mentioned earlier by leveraging public information, collaborating with different commercial drug databases, and providing a clinical decision support system. Our goal is to offer a unique, comprehensive, and hassle-free drug database with clinical decision support solutions for any type of organization." Clement Goehrs, MD, MSC, CEO & Co-Founder at Synapse Medicine
Drug databases improve patient outcomes, save healthcare professionals time, and enhance clinical decision-making. When selecting your drug database, consider reliability, approval by Surescripts, price, and easy integration. Building and integrating a drug database is complex, and it's mandatory for your organization to find the right partner to do the heavy lifting for you. Synapse Medicine is a reliable partner that can help you overcome the challenges of drug database implementation and focus on delivering better care to patients.