CliniPharm/CliniTox: a computer-based drug and poison information system for veterinariansRealisation: CliniPharm/CliniTox-Team
The shear volume of published literature on drugs and poisonous compounds has become unmanageable for veterinary practitioners and even specialists. How can we expect rational drug therapy (requires detailed attention to pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics as well as their interactions with the pathophysiological peculiarities of particular disease states) to take effect at the practice front if there are no suitable information tools available?
The goal of the project "CliniPharm" is to close this gap. In particular, we want to establish a computer-based decision support system for veterinary pharmacotherapy and clinical toxicology. With the advent of the world wide web (WWW), every part of the system that has been completed is accessible to veterinary practitioners regardless of their locations or computer platforms. The positive feedback to the first part of CliniPharm encouraged us to enhance the system with clinical toxicology information (CliniTox). As of now, the CliniPharm/CliniTox system comprises three major parts:
Part 1: An electronic Veterinary Drug Compendium for Switzerland, equipped with full browsing and multi-search features. A special and powerful multi-search function with controlled vocabulary allows to locate appropriate products by defining search attributes like target species, route of application, therapeutic substances etc. This freely accessible compendium is updated frequently and provides a complete overview of the Swiss Veterinary Drug Market. Each product entry includes the entire data sheet (text and pictures). A second compendium includes informations about veterinary products, feeds & additives (whole and supplement feeds, feed additives, care products, desinfectants, insecticides, aids, diagnostics etc.), which are of interest.
Part 2: Synopsis of the clinical pharmacology literature on all therapeutic substances used in veterinary medicine with appropriate cross-references to literature sources (continuously enhanced). This section provides in-depth drug information and is meant to help solve more intricate or less common therapeutic problems. It also provides comprehensive information on drug chemistry, pharmacology, indications, dosages, contraindications, interactions, side effects, and drug disposition in specific disease states. To facilitate data retrieval, the scientific data of part 2 is linked to the respective products located in part 1 of CliniPharm - and vice versa. Also the maximum residue levels (maximum allowed concentrations of substances in food derived from animals) for Switzerland can be found here.
Part 3: CliniTox - a computer-based decision support system for the management of poisonings in animals. The system provides detailed guidelines for the diagnostic and therapeutic management of a large number of chemical poisons in small animals, horses, pigs and cattle. Further, a separate database offers an overview of relevant poisonous plants with detailed (color picture illustrated) botanical information and advice for patient management. Since Switzerland is multilingual, plants cannot only be searched by various botanical attributes and their scientific names, but also by common lay terms in English, German, French and Italian.
The CliniPharm/CliniTox system has also been introduced in the regular teaching to veterinary students. Despite of the still limited observation period, we consider it an invaluable tool for problem-based learning of pharmacology and toxicology.