Global Glossary: Pharmacy Informatics

One of our goals of the project was to create a glossary. Throughout the e-Resource, terms have been "enabled". By choosing a highlighted term, a definition will appear. We welcome any suggestions you have for items to include. You may also comment below terms as they appear.

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Meaningful use

In the context of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, demonstration of meaningful use of electronic patient records by eligible providers (institutions and physicians) to be eligible for financial incentives and to avoid financial penalties.


Fox BI, Thrower MR and Felkey BG. Building core competencies in pharmacy informatics. 1st ed. Washington, DC: American Pharmacists Association, 2010.

Medical knowledge (clinical knowledge)

Information about diseases, therapies, interpretation of lab tests etc., and potentially applicable to decisions about multiple patients and public health policies, unlike patient data. This information should where possible be based on sound evidence from clinical and epidemiological studies, using valid and reliable methods.

Medication database

A database in an integrated health information system or module-based pharmacy information management system that contains current, and in some cases historical, patient-specific medication information.


Fox BI, Thrower MR and Felkey BG. Building core competencies in pharmacy informatics. 1st ed. Washington, DC: American Pharmacists Association, 2010.

Medication incident

Any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the healthcare professional, patient, or consumer. Medication incidents may be related to professional practice, drug products, procedures, and systems, and include prescribing, order communication, product labelling/ packaging/ nomenclature, compounding, dispensing, distribution, administration, education, monitoring, and use.


Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) Canada

Medication management

Patient-centred care to optimize safe, effective and appropriate drug therapy. Care is provided through collaboration with patients and their health care teams.


Blueprint for Pharmacy National Coordinating Office

Medication Profile

A historical and current list of medications related to a specific patient.

Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information

Medication reconciliation

Medication reconciliation is a formal process in which healthcare providers work together with patients, families, and care providers to ensure that accurate, comprehensive medication information is communicated consistently across transitions of care.


Canadian Patient Safety Institute

Medication Safety

Freedom from accidental injury during the course of medication use; activities to avoid, prevent, or correct adverse drug events which may result from the use of medications. 

Medication Use System

A combination of interdependent processes that share the common goal of safe, effective, appropriate, and efficient provision of drug therapy to patients. Major processes in the medication use system are: selecting and procuring, storage, prescribing, transcribing, and verifying / reviewing, preparing, and dispensing, administering, and monitoring.

 (Cohen, 1999)