ASHP Patient Medication Information (PMI) is a consumer-facing resource from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) providing drug information in both English and Spanish.
Updated monthly, the database features “leaflets,” or articles, that provide information on prescription and over-the-counter drugs. The articles feature lay language and helpful sections including how to administer medication, drug interactions to be aware of, and any cautions for older adults (ages 65+). Spanish-language articles are translated from their English counterparts by experienced Spanish-speaking medical translators rather than by computer program.
(Note: If this content sounds familiar but the name does not, the product underwent a name change in 2022, per correspondence with an ASHP representative in May 2022. Its former name was AHFS Consumer Medication Information (CMI), and some institutions and consortia still have it listed as such.)
ASHP is a recognized authority in drug information. As many of its products are offered as solutions to clinical environments, the association works in concert with national and federal entities that provide oversight in this domain. The resource lists the following accolades on its website:
A search in the PMI database for “aspirin” yields 29 results, including plain-language descriptions of drug blends and delivery methods (e.g., “Aspirin and Extended-Release Dypiridamole,” “Aspirin Rectal,” and “Aspirin and Omeprazole”). Entries that appear further down in the results list include Spanish-language entries and entries in which aspirin receives non-titular mention (e.g., warnings and interactions with aspirin; variations of drugs that can be found in combination with aspirin).
Some results entries include associated subjects. The subjects listed for “Aspirin and Extended-Release Dypiridamole” include the following:
Subjects: ASPIRIN; DIPYRIDAMOLE; BLOOD coagulation; DICLOFENAC; DIFLUNISAL; ETODOLAC
These associated subjects demonstrate the ways in which researchers can approach their search: by disease, symptom, drug class, drug name, and more. The EBSCO interface allows for numerous Boolean-operated terms to be searched simultaneously.
Clicking on the hyperlinked title of an article in the results list will take researchers to the detailed record. The EBSCO interface, through which I have access to the resource, features the same detailed record elements seen across the EBSCO database family: the left-hand column offers the detailed record and HTML full-text links; the body of the entry contains numerous hyperlinked subject terms and brand names, the full-text word count, the article ascension number, and the HTML full text; and the right-hand column offers research tools including:
Entries provide the following sections, with a hyperlinked table of contents appearing at the upper-left header of the full-text HTML entry:
A pronunciation guide is provided to assist consumers with pronunciation and recognition of the drug name, and PMI in the EBSCO interface offers a speech-to-text audio option with MP3 download via ReadSpeaker WebReader. A link to the Spanish-language version is included (if available). The entries contain the following copyright information at the end: “This article is copyrighted. All rights reserved. Source: ASHP Patient Medication Information - English Version.” The publication is dated within the current calendar year -- March 2022.
ASHP Patient Medication Information is listed as a licensable product on the ASHP website. In addition to its stand-alone option, ASHP PMI data can be found in a host of EBSCO databases including:
PMI boasts a partnership with MedlinePlus Connect to integrate into electronic health record systems for patient education purposes. A Quick Fact listed on the information page states the following:
“MedlinePlus Connect provides links to copyrighted drug information from American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, ASHP, Inc. Users of MedlinePlus Connect are prohibited from ingesting and/or branding this copyrighted content in their EHR or other health IT system. If you want to incorporate this content into your EHR or brand it, you must license the content directly from the information vendor. See our page on linking to MedlinePlus for more details.” (https://medlineplus.gov/medlineplus-connect/)
PMI is one of many resources offered by ASHP and its American Hospital Formulary Service (AHFS), including:
Database names and descriptions source: AHFS Products.
In summary, the ASHP Patient Medication Information Database offers plain-language medication information for consumers. The information is authored and copyrighted by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and should be considered reliable and authoritative. The currency is above reproach; updated entries accommodate a swiftly evolving health sciences information ecosystem. Reading level is appropriate for literate adults. Dual-language pamphlets extend the database’s reach into the well-established Spanish-speaking patient and library patron population. The EBSCO interface provides ease of access and assistive technology features.
This product has relevancy for hospitals that have a burden to provide reliable health information to patients, as well as to public entities such as libraries, which desire to provide reliable health information to patrons.
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