Evaluation of RxNorm for Representing Ambulatory Prescriptions

Published in: AMIA 2010 Symposium Proceedings, Nov. 13-17, 2010, p. 562-566

by Sean Michael O'Neill, Douglas S. Bell

Read More

Access further information on this document at proceedings.amia.org

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the RxNorm standardized drug nomenclature for representing ambulatory e-prescriptions. METHODS: Using a sample of 19743 primary care e-prescriptions, we estimated the coverage rate of RxNorm for representing clinical drugs, measured the 6-month replacement rate for RxNorm concepts, assessed the consistency of two independent concept mappings, and investigated inconsistent mappings. RESULTS: RxNorm contained concepts for nearly all prescriptions in the sample (99.995%). Of 1419 concepts used, 8.1% were replaced between April and October 2009. Independent mappings produced different concepts for 676 e-prescriptions (3.4%), but most differences would have low clinical significance. Most mismatches were related to the use of extended-release form concepts with no duration specified, inhalers vs. their contents, and clinically inert salts. CONCLUSIONS: RxNorm provides concepts covering nearly all ambulatory e-prescriptions in this setting. Independent mappings were relatively consistent. Improvements could be made by enabling selection of the most-specific concepts when broader prescribable concepts exist

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.