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Data-driven care: why pharmacy needs to get involved

July 31, 2019 / ANDREW DAVIES

In the UK, the NHS generates vast quantities of data, much of which remain unused or underused, despite the potential to drive better care. There are many reasons for poor use of data. One is poor interoperability; differing healthcare terminology can mean the same medicines are described in thousands of ways across the NHS. Lack of transparency between organisations is also a problem; information is obscured or not shared because it is seen as belonging to NHS trusts, contractors (GPs or community pharmacists) or other bodies, rather than being of benefit to the NHS. There are also gaps in education; current and developing healthcare professionals are not aware of the importance of informatics and the opportunities to use rich data reserves, even if they were available.