Data mining for the health system pharmacist


Data mining is an application of computer technology that allows pharmacists to analyze the large amounts of clinical and administrative data related to patient care that health care organizations accumulate. Data mining is the process of taking the raw material (data) from the data warehouse and converting it to information that can be used by decision makers. Online analytical processing (OLAP) is the tool that accomplishes the data mining process. This article introduces the concept of data mining and related technologies, including the data warehouse, data mart, and OLAP - concepts that are closely related to one another. The benefits of applying data mining to pharmacy practice, with a focus on the point of care, are discussed. Successful data mining often requires an enterprise-wide information system as a prerequisite. Data can then be collected electronically at all points in the health care supply chain. A strategic view of the information flow in an acute care setting is provided. To further illustrate the application of data mining, several examples of OLAP integration are given. In addition, some unique data sources and a pharmacy specific reporting technology are described.

Publication Title

Hospital Pharmacy