Improving access to computer-based library and drug information services in patient-care areas

R. C. Tobia, N. F. Bierschenk, L. C. Knodel, V. M. Bowden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A project to increase access to drug and biomedical information through electronic linkage of drug information and library services to three patient-care areas is described. In February 1987, microcomputer work stations were installed in the Bexar County Hospital District's hospital emergency department, medical residents' office, and ambulatory-care clinic, as well as in The University of Texas Health Science Center's library reference area and drug information service office. Drug information was available on compact disk through the Micromedex Computerized Clinical Information System (CCIS) database, which includes DRUGDEX, POISINDEX, EMERGINDEX, and IDENTIDEX. Each work station was also connected to the library's computer via modem, allowing access to the Library Information System, books, journals, audiovisual materials, mini MEDLINE, and an electronic mail system. During the six-month project, the system was used 5487 times by 702 people. The system was successful in providing drug and other information in clinical settings and in introducing clinical staff members to new information technology. To increase access to the system after the project ended, the CD-ROM version was discontinued, and the distributed tape version of CCIS for VAX computers was added to the library's online information system, making drug information more available throughout the campus and teaching hospitals. In 1988-89 an average of 200 people accessed the tape version of CCIS each month. Although it is difficult to replace the convenience of an onsite library, at least some drug and biomedical information needs in the clinical setting can be met through computer networking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-142
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospital Pharmacy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990


  • computers
  • databases
  • drug information
  • hospitals
  • information
  • libraries
  • physicians

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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