Personal digital assistant-based drug information sources: Potential to improve medication safety

Kimberly A. Galt, Ann M. Rule, Bruce Houghton, Daniel O. Young, Gina Remington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study compared the potential for personal digital assistant (PDA)-based drug information sources to minimize potential medication errors dependent on accurate and complete drug information at the point of care. Methods: A quality and safety framework for drug information resources was developed to evaluate 11 PDA-based drug information sources. Three drug information sources met the criteria of the framework: Eprocrates Rx Pro, Lexi-Drugs, and mobileMICROMEDEX. Medication error types related to drug information at the point of care were then determined. Forty-seven questions were developed to test the potential of the sources to prevent these error types. Pharmacists and physician experts from Creighton University created these questions based on the most common types of questions asked by primary care providers. Three physicians evaluated the drug information sources, rating the source for each question: 1 = no information available, 2 = some information available, or 3 = adequate amount of information available. Results: The mean ratings for the drug information sources were: 2.0 (Eprocrates Rx Pro), 2.5 (Lexi-Drugs), and 2.03 (mobileMICROMEDEX). Lexi-Drugs was significantly better (mobileMICROMEDEX t test; P = 0.05; Eprocrates Rx Pro t test; P = 0.01). Conclusion: Lexi-Drugs was found to be the most specific and complete PDA resource available to optimize medication safety by reducing potential errors associated with drug information. No resource was sufficient to address the patient safety information needs for all cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-236
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Medical Library Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Informatics
  • Library and Information Sciences


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