McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

McMaster to help create new OSCAR module for pharmacists

Published: November 3, 2014

McMaster University's Department of Family Medicine and the University of British Columbia (UBC) Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences are working together to create a new module within the open-source OSCAR Electronic Medical Record (EMR) to support pharmacists working in care teams.

This new module will allow for both pharmacist and physician functionality in the same made-in-Canada EMR, for the first time.

Health care professionals rely on EMRs to manage patient information, test results, care plans and progress notes. The majority of EMR systems currently available only meet the specific needs of family physicians. It is now recognized that patients have better health outcomes when they receive care from collaborative teams of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health professionals.

Lisa Dolovich
Lisa Dolovich, professor and associate chair of research, Department of Family Medicine

"An electronic medical record designed for pharmacists, working as part of collaborative care teams, will truly benefit patient care by improving how pharmacists can do their work," said Lisa Dolovich, professor and associate chair of research at McMaster's Department of Family Medicine. "It builds on the positive steps taken in new legislation across Canada, which has provided pharmacists with more opportunities for applying their expertise to assist and advise people in the best use of their medications."

OSCAR is open-source software that was developed at McMaster and then made available for use in the health care community free of charge. The open-source OSCAR code and corresponding OSCAR software are governed and managed by OSCAR EMR, the not-for-profit organization created by McMaster to oversee the innovative collaboration of OSCAR's community of users.

"We currently use OSCAR and have a special interest in integrating pharmacist and physician needs within the software," said Barbara Gobis, director of the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences' Pharmacists Clinic. "We are making this investment in the spirit of moving pharmacist-physician collaboration to a new level for the benefit of the patients in our care."

Colcamex Resources, a specialty software development firm, will build the new pharmacist module. Work officially began last week and is expected to take between six and twelve months to complete. Once finalized, the module will be available for all pharmacists and clinicians within the OSCAR user community.

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