Pharmacotherapy on the Web

The Journal of Informed Pharmacotherapy 2000;3:500. 

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices, The Oxford Pain Internet Site, Pneumotox Online, HONmedia Medical Images Library, EKG World Encyclopedia, NoFreeLunch.org


JIP Site Evaluation Process
Submit your own review of this or any other site

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices, The Oxford Pain Internet Site, Pneumotox Online, HONmedia - Medical Images Library, EKG World Encyclopedia, NoFreeLunch.org

Name of site:

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices NEW!

Type of site: Information site promoting safe medication practices
Authoring organization: The Institute for Safe Medication Practices, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, USA.
Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada, Richmond Hill, Ontario.
Sponsors: Non-profit organization made up of Pharmacists, Nurses, and Physicians.
Of particular interest to: Directors of Pharmacy, Nurses , Physicians , Risk Managers, Product Managers.
Completeness Score (/5) 3
Credibility Score (/5) 5
Usability Score (/5) 4
Why is it useful? (what will it help me DO?): May be a relatively "low yield" site for the day to day needs of a practicing clinician. The site is of use to system administrators wishing to implement system safeguards for minimizing medication dispensing errors. Provides a method for voluntary self reporting of medication errors and rapid dissemination of medication safety-related information involving drug distribution, naming, packaging, labeling, computer program design and drug delivery system design.
Commentary: This site is devoted to providing education about adverse drug events and their prevention. ISMP provides several publications that may help hospitals self-evaluate their medication systems and heighten awareness of the distinguishing characteristics of a safe system. The site provides a monthly collection of medication safety alerts targeted to health professionals and consumers. A variety of safety related subscription materials and consulting services are offered for sale. Independent review of medication errors that have been voluntarily submitted by practitioners to a national Medication Errors Reporting Program operated by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) in the USA are available.

www.ismp-canada.org is the Canadian sister site to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices in the U.S. The intent of the site is the same for both countries. The publications and services available are not yet as extensive as those available from the American counterpart.

URL of site: http://www.ismp.org (USA)
http://www.ismp-canada.org
(CANADA)
Reviewed by: Robert M. Balen, Pharm.D.

Name of site:

The Oxford Pain Internet Site

Type of site: Therapy for pain specialty site.
Authoring organization: Bandolier, a British NHS-funded Print & Electronic Journal
Sponsors: BUPA Foundation and Merck Sharp and Dohme (Britain)
Of particular interest to: Clinicians who treat any type of pain and patients who experience pain.
Completeness Score (/5) 4.5
Credibility Score (/5) 4.5
Usability Score (/5) 4.5
Why is it useful? (what will it help me DO?): This site forms an excellent launching point for inquiries and systematic reviews (qualitative and quantitative) concerning treatments for pain of all types. Topics range from chronic cancer pain to migraine to non-pharmacologic treatments.
Commentary: This is a thoroughly evidence-based site which attempts to catalogue a significant proportion of the pain management literature through qualitative and quantitative systematic reviews. The systematic reviews are well summarized and appear to be rigorously conducted. They are not as methodologically transparent as Cochrane Reviews, however, but are more wide-ranging. The site is updated regularly and focuses on contemporary drug therapy issues. Check out the "League Table of Analgesics" which summarizes the NNT to produce 50% pain reduction for a multitude of analgesics.  
URL of site: http://www.jr2.ox.ac.uk/bandolier/booth/painpag/index.html
Reviewed by: Peter Loewen, Pharm.D.

Name of site:

Pneumotox Online

Type of site: Database of pulmonary toxicities of drugs.
Authoring organization: The French group, GEPPI (Groupe d'Etudes de la Pathologie Pulmonaire Iatrogène)
Sponsors: SPLF (Société de Pneumologie de Langue Française) and the AFCP (Association Française des Centres de Pharmacovigilance)
Of particular interest to: Any clinician who diagnoses or treats drug-induced pulmonary diseases.
Completeness Score (/5) 5
Credibility Score (/5) 5
Usability Score (/5) 5
Why is it useful? (what will it help me DO?): Have you ever encountered a patient with pulmonary infiltrates and wondered whether it could have been caused by a drug?  This site is the fastest and most up-to-date way to find out. 
Commentary: This invaluable resource has a single purpose: to catalogue reports of pulmonary toxicities of drugs.  Users can search by drug to see whether it has been reported to cause pulmonary toxicity (and the radiographic findings reported) or search by radiographic pattern to see lists of drugs which may produce them.  The site is extensively referenced and completely up to date.  There is even a feature which allows clinicians to submit case-reports for inclusion in the database.
URL of site: http://www.pneumotox.com
Reviewed by: Peter Loewen, Pharm.D.

Name of site:

HONmedia Medical Images Library

Type of site: Repository of Medical Images
Authoring organization: Health On the Net Foundation
Sponsors:  
Of particular interest to: Clinicians who give presentations and use medical illustrations to enhance them.
Completeness Score (/5) 4
Credibility Score (/5) 4
Usability Score (/5) 4
Why is it useful? (what will it help me DO?): Allows one-stop shopping for images when generating teaching materials or presentations, or simply trying to better understand an issue (a picture tells a thousand words). 
Commentary: HONmedia is an unique repository of over 1,650 medical images and videos, pertaining to 1,200 topics and themes.  Images range from photos of patients to illustrations to radiographic images to chemical structures of drugs. The images are generally of high quality and are mostly suitable for cutting and pasting into presentations and documents.  Credit info is provided so proper acknowledgement is possible.  Presumably images cannot be used for financial gain without permission from their authors. 
URL of site: http://www.hon.ch/HONmedia/
Reviewed by: Peter Loewen, Pharm.D.

Name of site:

EKG World Encyclopedia

Type of site: ECG interpretation database and teaching
Authoring organization: The Online Journal of Cardiology
Sponsors: McGill University, private donors, two pacemaker manufacturers.
Of particular interest to: Clinicians who work with cardiac patients who wish to hone their ECG interpretation skills.
Completeness Score (/5) 4
Credibility Score (/5) 4
Usability Score (/5) 4
Why is it useful? (what will it help me DO?): Provides an opportunity to practice ECG interpretation using actual case examples.
Commentary: ECG interpretation skills are best honed through practice in actual patient situations.  This site provides a large array of different scenarios ranging from the common to the very rare.  Users can challenge themselves by making the diagnosis, or review ECG's organized by category (eg. Myocardial infarction, ventricular hypertrophy, implanted devices). Regardless of your profession, this is a useful site for improving your ECG interpretation skills.
URL of site: http://www.mmip.mcgill.ca/heart/egcyhome.html
Reviewed by: Peter Loewen, Pharm.D.

 

Name of site:

No Free Lunch

Type of site: Information site opposing marketing practices of the pharmaceutical industry.
Authoring organization: Bob Goodman, MD, a family practitioner in New York City
Sponsors: A non-profit society made up of physicians, pharmacists, nurses, dentists concerned about the effects of pharmaceutical industry marketing on patient care.
Of particular interest to: All health care providers.
Completeness Score (/5) 5
Credibility Score (/5) 4
Usability Score (/5) 3
Why is it useful? (what will it help me DO?): Creates awareness about the negative effects of drug company marketing on patient care.
Commentary: This site, whose bias against the marketing practices of the pharmaceutical industry is obvious, is extremely interesting, especially for those who are unaware of the documented effects of those practices on patient care.  The site catalogues an impressive collection of literature from medical journals and the lay press about this issue. Regardless of your views on this hot topic, the site is very credible in that every statement (see the Pharmaceutical Facts and Fallacies section) is referenced and verifiable.  Check out the "Pen Amnesty Program" wherein you send them your free drug company pens and they will replace them with a "nofreelunch" pen.
URL of site: http://www.nofreelunch.org/
Reviewed by: Peter Loewen, Pharm.D.

Copyright © 2000 by the Journal of Informed Pharmacotherapy. All rights reserved.