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Dean contributes to information technology book

Dean Jon Sprague

Dr. Jon E. Sprague, Ohio Northern University professor and dean of the College of Pharmacy, has co-authored a chapter in a book that explores ethics and privacy issues in the context of electronic health records.

The book, titled “Information Assurance and Security Ethics in Complex Systems: Interdisciplinary Perspectives,” focuses on the effects of cyber attacks that critically damage infrastructure and reduce computer users’ privacy and security. It also explores how social context shapes technology as well as technology’s influence on social context.
From a pharmacist’s perspective, Sprague discusses computer software used by pharmacies to create warnings about adverse drug interactions. The software is a database of each patient’s genetic information that screens for certain enzymes that may have a negative reaction when combined with certain drugs. This system decreases instances of drug interaction problems but leaves patient information open to cyber attack.
“Our hope is to increase public awareness of the importance of electronic health records and genetic data to the implementation of personalized medicine,” Sprague said. “Pharmacy is a logical starting point for the use of this type of information.”