1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Computerization is defined as the control of processes by computers and its
peripherals. Today it would be difficult to think of any process, business or action
that could not have profited from the numerous benefits of the computer system.
Controlling process or devices with computer started long ago since the invention
of computer. In the 20th century inventors tried to make processes easier with the
use of computers. Secondly computerization has been greatly applied or used in
controlling process that requires frequent action such as drug procurement, drug
management, drug tracking and drug distributions in hospital management
information system in pharmacy departments of hospitals.
This project which is drug procurement and distribution tracking system provides a
computer based information management system in a Pharmacy Department of the
University of Nigerian Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Enugu by designing a cost
effective, user friendly application, incorporating key attributes of data integrity
and system security suitable for use in the pharmacy department of the hospital
using Microsoft Access software in developing the database and visual basic as the
programming language. The overall aim of this project is to optimize time and
material in the processing of data needed for effective operation of large pharmacy
department of a hospital. By this approach, data integrity, data redundancy, and
consistency will be ensured.
Drugs are the chemical substances that are administered to patients for curative
purposes and prophylaxis. It can also be known as a medicine, because it is the
essential part of peoples care.
The ability of the computer to store and retrieve information at a very fast and
efficient rate makes its application useful in management operations. Drug
management involves drug procurement, drug distribution, drug tracking and its
information management. Drug distribution is concerned with distribution of drugs
within the different medical units or departments in a hospital, while drug
procurement is concerned with the purchasing activities of the drugs by the
pharmacy department of the hospital. In the same vein, drug tracking is concern
with the continuous monitoring of the actual quantity of drugs held in the hospital
pharmacy or any other drug warehouse /store. It also controls the stock level.
Pharmaceutical unit in a hospital is concerned with drug management activities.
They carry out the responsibility of making appropriate selection and drugs used
by formulating an annual, monthly, weekly or daily list of drugs requirement and
management reports. However, in some hospitals today, some pharmacists still use
the manual system of operation which can lead to inappropriate drug management
errors due to problems of handling voluminous file within a short period of time.
This could make data to be easily inaccessible and also delivery of drugs can lead
to misplacement of patients’ files.
Drug procurement, tracking, distribution and information management in this
regard are routine processes carried out in various hospitals across Nigeria. It is a
common place to observe that these routine processes are still preformed manually
or are minimally computerized even in our Teaching Hospitals. This manual
approach to these routine operations has a lot of problems associated with it,
ranging from poor handling of drug data of patients, lack of good storage
information system for drugs and drug dispensary, delays, to the difficulty in
retrieving information on drugs and patients’ records. In view of all these
problems, it becomes necessary to develop a computer based drug information
management system and distribution tracking system. This is what this research
project is set to address by computerizing the routine processes in our hospitals and
in particular that of Pharmacy Department of UNTH Enugu.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The aim of this research project is to design and implement a computerized drug
information management system, drug procurement and distribution tracking
system. This includes:
(i). To order for drugs without mistake of procuring more than required.
(ii). To take good stock of drugs.
(iii). To prevent dispensary of expired drugs