Drugs data a Catalyst for HCN

Health Communication Network has officially launched its new Catalyst medicines information product, aimed at clinicians at the point of care with a particular emphasis on the acute care sector.

HCN said Catalyst is the first Australian medicines information product that integrates product information (PI), consumer medicine information (CMI), independent drug monographs, drug product images, a product identifier module and product summaries all in one resource.

The web browser-based resource is already in use by The Canberra Hospital and 13 universities Australia-wide, including Sydney, Deakin and Monash.

While it has been designed to support community, consultant and hospital pharmacists as well as students, it is also aimed at doctors, nurses and allied health professionals such as ambulance officers who require more information on medicines at the point of care.

It currently contains over 5050 product summaries, 2685 PI sheets, 2775 CMI leaflets, 1000 independent drug monographs and 2440 drug images, as well as a Product Identifier module that allows the identification of unknown medicines by their physical attributes such as markings, shape and colour.

HCN CEO John Frost said its point of difference from competing products such as MIMS was its currency of information and its breadth and depth.

“We saw a gap in the market for this sort of information, particularly for the currency and completeness of the information as well as the usability,” Mr Frost said. “The information is not only more current and complete, but it is more accessible.”

The user interface features search options such as Quick Product Search, Advanced Search and Free Text Search, and users can also customise their experience with personalised features such as My Searches, My Favourites and My Settings, which enables quick access to reference material used on a regular basis.

Mr Frost said Catalyst contained more information than HCN's AusDI Advanced, which is integrated into Medical Director and contains PI sheets, CMI sheets and independent monographs.

“Catalyst goes a lot further in terms of other functional areas – it has images, as does AusDI Advanced, but it also has pharmaceutical company details, it has the product summaries, it has the medicines identifier,” he said. “You can browse through the content in a whole raft of different ways – names, active ingredient, and therapeutic class. Medical Director also has the complete drug list which is used for certain purposes, like prescribing of course, and that same drug list underpins a lot of what's in Catalyst.”

Mr Frost said Catalyst, although it can also be used at the point of care, is a referential resource that will have particular use in the acute care sector for helping clinicians treat patients with complex conditions and often several co-morbidities.

“The PI, which they can compare to the monograph, which we've independently generated, has a lot of the same information but it also has editorial content from other sources. National and international sources of therapeutic information are regularly monitored.

“Having said that, particularly in the major use areas which are in the acute sector, a doctor or nurse will reference Catalyst if they have forgotten the dosage for a particular drug or to look up indications and contra-indications.”

HCN has integrated Catalyst data with several partners, including aged care specialist iCare, pharmacy specialist Fred Dispense, and CSC (formerly iSOFT), which targets hospital pharmacists, amongst others.

“We have a number of data streams that we provide to our partners for their particular slice of the market,” Mr Frost said. “iSOFT for example is very much looking at the hospital pharmacists so the thing of primary importance there is the independent monographs.”

Catalyst is available by subscription on users’ desktop or via integration into knowledge portals or clinical software systems. HCN is offering individuals or organisations a 14-day free trial.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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