Growing EHR? Time to build your own eprescriber? Here's how

As EHR vendors find their products growing and signing up more users, many start to think about moving from using a third-party eprescribing solution to building their own. The reasons for making this switch are many:

  • As your user base grows, eprescribing fees grow too
  • Bring features in-house makes it easier to respond to specific customer needs
  • A third-party solution is a risk, as you never can be sure what will happen in the market

One of the first steps in building your own eprescriber is to find a data provider who can supply you with medication lists and other information that Surescripts requires to certify your tool. Lexicomp is one such provider. They've been focused on providing drug data direct to clinicians for over thirty years, but now they can also supply you with database-ready information to power an eprescriber. (Note: The Lexicomp solution Lexi-Data referenced in this post has been replaced by newer Medi-Span solutions as of January 2013.)

Lexicomp's customers have used their data to certify EMRs and EHRs with ONC testing bodies like Drummond, CCHIT, and Infogard. Their customers have also certified eprescribers using Lexicomp data with Surescripts. And best of all, Lexicomp's flexible pricing and easy implementation allows firms of all sizes to get up and running smoothly and quickly.

Contact Lexicomp using the links on this page today for more information.

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EMR and EHR business owners, senior managers and developers turning to Lexicomp for their drug information needs

Why I am repeating a headline from last week and some similar content?  Because it seems to resonate with those folks who are making the critical decisions on their EMR development and their need to include the best drug information,  along with the best vendor support. 

As I wrote:

Are you the owner or manager of an ambulatory EMR company?   What keeps you up late at night?   Worried about getting your product to the market as quickly as possible and keeping your costs under control?  Worried about certification?   No doubt you have some thoughts about reducing medical errors by including the best drug information and internal built-in logic.   More and more EMR and EHR  business owners and general managers are turning to Lexicomp to solve their drug information needs.

In a few short years,  Lexicomp has been the fastest growing provider of drug information to the EMR market.  As I said in a previous post:

(Note: The Lexicomp solution Lexi-Data referenced in this post has been replaced by newer Medi-Span solutions as of January 2013.)

In addition to supplying the expected information such as drug-drug and drug-allergy interactions,  adverse drug events,  RxNorm mapping,  generic drug lists,  drug nomenclature,  and more.  Lexi-Data offers an incredibly easy to use data structure and API's and most importantly,  Lexicomp is unparalleled in its customer service and providing assistance in the development process. If you are developing a new EMR and need a drug information supplier, make sure that Lexi is on your list.

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EMR and EHR business owners, senior managers and developers turning to Lexicomp for their drug information needs

Some of my colleagues have asked me to re-post my blog from last week.  So I will do so.

Are you the owner or manager of an ambulatory EMR company?   What keeps you up late at night?   Worried about getting your product to the market as quickly as possible and keeping your costs under control?  Worried about certification?   No doubt you have some thoughts about reducing medical errors by including the best drug information and internal built in logic.   More and more EMR and EHR  business owners and general managers are turning to Lexicomp to solve their drug information needs.

In a few short years,  Lexicomp has been the fastest growing provider of drug information to the EMR market.  As I said in a previous post:

(Note: The Lexicomp solution Lexi-Data referenced in this post has been replaced by newer Medi-Span solutions as of January 2013.)

" In addition to supplying the expected information such as drug-drug and drug-allergy interactions,  adverse drug events,  RxNorm mapping,  generic drug lists,  drug nomenclature,  and more.  Lexi-Data offers an incredibly easy to use data structure and API's and most importantly,  Lexicomp is unparalleled in its customer service and providing assistance in the development process. If you are developing a new EMR and need a drug information supplier, make sure that Lexi is on your list.

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e-Prescribing Controlled Substances

Clinical Decision Support

Electronic prescribing (e-Prescribing) is a key component to improving patient safety and reducing medication errors, because it provides real-time clinical decision support to physicians at the time of order entry.  It is estimated that approximately 7,000 deaths occur each year in the United States from preventable medication errors. That is why physician adoption of e-Prescribing has been incentivized by the federal government. However, one of the biggest challenges surrounding physician’s adoption of e-Prescribing is the ability for them to electronically transmit prescriptions for controlled substances. 

Prior to June 2010, all controlled substance prescriptions were required to be on paper, so instead of maintaining one process for paper-based controlled substances and another that is electronically based for noncontrolled substances; physicians were choosing to stick with a paper-based prescription process.  In an effort to remove this headache and extra work that was required by physcians there was a new ruling made by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to encourage physicians adoption. In June 2010, the DEA revised the Code of Federal Regulations to allow the electronic transmission of schedule II-V controlled substances to pharmacies.  Now physicians can migrate to an electronic system and not worry about maintaining a separate paper-based system. 

Lexi-Data is the foundation of Lexicomp's comprehensive clinical decision support database and it contains federal CSA codes as well as a list of state level overrides that e-Prescribing systems need to make this happen. (Note: The Lexicomp solution Lexi-Data referenced in this post has been replaced by newer Medi-Span solutions as of January 2013.)


Lexicomp will be exhibiting at HIMSS 2012 in Las Vegas from February 20 - 24. Stop by for a visit at Booth #5134 and learn more about the preferred choice of drug information databases!

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EMR and EHR business owners and senior managers turning to Lexicomp for their drug information needs

Are you the owner or manager of an ambulatory EMR company?   What keeps you up late at night?   Worried about getting your product to the market as quickly as possible and keeping your costs under control?  Worried about certification?   No doubt you have some thoughts about reducing medical errors by including the best drug information and internal built in logic.   More and more EMR and EHR  business owners and general managers are turning to Lexicomp to solve their drug information needs. (Note: The Lexicomp solution Lexi-Data referenced in this post has been replaced by newer Medi-Span solutions as of January 2013.)


In a few short years,  Lexicomp has been the fastest growing provider of drug information to the EMR market.  As I said in a previous post:

" In addition to supplying the expected information such as drug-drug and drug-allergy interactions,  adverse drug events,  RxNorm mapping,  generic drug lists,  drug nomenclature,  and more.  Lexi-Data offers an incredibly easy to use data structure and API's and most importantly,  Lexicomp is unparalleled in its customer service and providing assistance in the development process. If you are developing a new EMR and need a drug information supplier, make sure that Lexi is on your list."
 

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Lexi-Data, now the data of choice of ambulatory and other EMR and practice management systems and developers

I have had several comments asking for me to repeat several of my recent blog posts,  so here they are:

The first one:

"In a few short years,  Lexicomp has gone from being the provider of choice for drug reference information to the vendor of choice for EMR development companies looking for a supplier of drug data to include in their product.   Lexi-Data provides all of the standard drug information that one would expect from the other suppliers,  but it also provides the best pediatric dosing information available.   In addition to supplying the expected information such as drug-drug and drug-allergy interactions,  adverse drug events,  RxNorm mapping,  generic drug lists,  drug nomenclature,  and more.  Lexi-Data offers an incredibly easy to use data structure and API's and most importantly,  Lexicomp is unparalleled in its customer service and providing assistance in the development process. If you are developing a new EMR and need a drug information supplier, make sure that Lexi is on your list."

(Note: The Lexicomp solution Lexi-Data referenced in this post has been replaced by newer Medi-Span solutions as of January 2013.)

The second:  (enjoy)

"We live in a turbulent and fast changing world.  What was good yesterday is not necessarily what is best for today.   Where is Netscape?   How about Alta Vista?    Lotus is certainly history but how many of you remember Multiplan and before that VisiCalc?  The changes occur quickly -- not like the phasing out of a buggy whip. 

The same could  be said about more and more EMR developers who are turning to Lexi-Data for their drug information.    Lexi-Data just hit the scene a little more than two years ago.  And how quickly it has grown and capturing a major part of new EMR development in need of drug information.  Why so?

Is it about drug information quality?   Is it about ease of integrating the APIs?   How about quality of the Pediatric Drug Information and drug-drug and drug-allergy interactions?  Or is about the top quality customer support during the development and integration phase,  where Lexicomp treats it customers like true partners?"

Needless to say,  as you can imagine,  it is about all of the above.   If you haven't acted yet,  it is about time.
 

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Why Lexi-Data is now the drug data of choice for EMR's and their developers


Drug Reference

In a few short years,  Lexicomp has gone from being the provider of choice for drug reference information to the vendor of choice for EMR development companies looking for a supplier of drug data to include in their product.   Lexi-Data provides all of the standard drug information that one would expect from the other suppliers,  but it also provides the best pediatric dosing information available.   In addition to supplying the expected information such as drug-drug and drug-allergy interactions,  adverse drug events,  RxNorm mapping,  generic drug lists,  drug nomenclature,  and more.  Lexi-Data offers an incredibly easy to use data structure and API's and most importantly,  Lexicomp is unparalleled in its customer service and providing assistance in the development process. If you are developing a new EMR and need a drug information supplier, make sure that Lexi is on your list.

(Note: The Lexicomp solution Lexi-Data referenced in this post has been replaced by newer Medi-Span solutions as of January 2013.)

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EMR's now have a web services option to access drug data

ePrescribing

Lexicomp has now released the second phase of a comprehensive web services solution to EMR developers to access drug information.  (Note: The Lexicomp solution Lexi-Data referenced in this post has been replaced by newer Medi-Span solutions as of January 2013.) For those EMR and Practice Management systems that do not want to store drug information in their product,  they now have an option.  In the second phase,  Lexicomp has released web services to include a proprietary Black Box warning decision tool to reduce alert overload.  Phase II also include dose range checking (DRC) and 12 new searching tools.


For EMR developers that have need for any of the following drug nformation or tools in their product, Pediatric Dose Range Checking (Lexicomp is the leader in this area); Patient Education Materials;  Drug Interaction Software;  RxNorm Mapping;  Medicine Lists,  Generic Drugs;  Dose Information; ePrescribing,  and more--- they should call Lexicomp.
 

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Eliminate Alert Fatigue with Customized Drug Database

Alert fatigue is related to the barrage of messages provided clinical decision support systems which can overwhelm a provider and cause them to ignore messages. The alerts, while found to be helpful in some cases, can result in a type of "fatigue" whereby the provider, after receiving too many alerts, begins to ignore and/or override the alerts. Receiving too many alerts can result in slowing the provider down rendering the alert useless.

One of the key reasons that clinicians are frustrated with decision support related to drug interaction software is the potential for this alert fatigue. Clinicans do not want to be messaged regarding dosage precautions related to an interaction which has already been recognized and addressed. It is particularly important in the era of electronic prescribing to engineer systems which can present the appropriate information to the appropriate person. Systems need to recognize whether an individual has previously addressed the issue, rather than simply blindly alerting to the presence of two medications within the medicine list. A collaborative effort between drug database providers and application vendors is needed, and discussions to improve the quality of alerts, while decreasing the quantity, are moving forward. These will greatly improve satisfaction with these tools. 

Not all clinical information is structured the same!
The more detail that your medication and clinical information vendor provides about crucial alerts, the easier it is for you to implement customization for your users. If every alert looks the same (which is true of what many vendors provide!), then that means that your users will have to go through them all one by one, setting their preferences on warnings and dosage precautions by hand. Then they have to keep their settings up to date as new alerts are added. That's not user friendly design!

By contrast, Lexicomp's implementation of Black Box Warnings (also called Black Boxed Warnings) gives a great deal of flexibility to developers to allow for multi-dimensional customization. Each warning contains information about which clinician the alert is intended for, how severe the alert is, and whether the alert applies only to patients with specific conditions (e.g., pregnancy). (Note: The Lexicomp solution Lexi-Data referenced in this post has been replaced by newer Medi-Span solutions as of January 2013.)

Win customer loyalty by automating alert customization! 
This way, you can automate much of the customization without having to ask for input from every individual user. You can simply have the system hide alerts intended for nurses from pharmacists, and vice-versa. Likewise, you can make your system intelligent enough to hide alerts related to pregnancy from male patients. This is the kind of smart implementation that users are looking for to help them aviod alert fatigue and become more efficient and effective clinicians. Talk to Lexicomp today to learn more!
 

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Companies developing new EMRs for small to medium healthcare settings and drug information

Drug Nomenclature

Companies developing new EMRs for small to medium healthcare settings often wait too long to consider what drug information provider to use for their product.   There are only a few drug information providers and it is advisable to know the pluses and minuses as early in the process as possible.    It is not just about drug-drug and drug-allergy interactions.  It is not just about drug dosing information,  drug nomenclature,  dosing precautions,  patient education leaflets,  branded and generic medication lists. 

It is also about which vendor is the easiest to work with.  Who will accomodate your needs and not their needs.  Who will help you resolve cerifying body issues?  Who is the best of the best when it comes to pediatric dosing?   Who will provide decision trees for black box warnings?  Who will provide easy to use APIs?   Who provides ongoing topnotch communication?  And who is at the cutting edge?    Those are just some of the quesitons you need to answer.

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Drug interaction databases for pharmaceutical policy and outcomes research

For years, Multum Lexicon was the source for researchers to get drug reference and drug interaction data. But where can researchers now get medication lists, pharmaceutical monographs, drug-drug interactions, drug-allery interactions, and more?

Today, there is an enhanced and updated solution built on the foundation of Multum Lexicon. It's Lexicomp's Lexi-Data transactional database. Lexi-Data provides drug names (brand name, generic name, and common abbreviations), therapeutic categories, drug classifications, indications, and standard coding such as NDC, J-Codes, and ICD-9.  The data in Lexi-Data has been utilized by many universities and research institutions, including research on pharmaceutical policy and outcomes, aging, and more. (Note: The Lexicomp solution Lexi-Data referenced in this post has been replaced by newer Medi-Span solutions as of January 2013.)


Multum is a registered trademark of Cerner Corp.

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Populating patient portals with drug and clinical data


Drug Information for Patients

Patients are becoming more involved in their own healthcare, and are increasingly making use of patient portals and consumer-facing websites to do research, follow their progress, and even answer questions they might have previously posed to their physician. At the very least, they are using these sites to be more informed during visits to their care providers so they can get more value from those encounters.

All of this creates an opportunity for innovative developers to provide accurate, reliable, easy-to-understand information to patients via the web. One source for medication and clinical information that can be easily integrated into such sites is Lexicomp.

Lexicomp is a leading provider of drug reference, clinical reference, and patient education leaflets and materials to clinicians. Over a thousand hospitals use Lexicomp's information every day during patient encounters. The information available includes medication lists, drug monographs, drug interaction information (including interactions with common food and natural products), drug allergy information, patient education documents, dose adminstration, warnings, and more. (Note: The Lexicomp solution Lexi-Data referenced in this post has been replaced by newer Medi-Span solutions as of January 2013.)

And Lexicomp's information can be easily integrated into your site in a variety of ways. You can choose to have an installed local database, or to use web services to pull information from Lexicomp's servers as needed. Contact Lexicomp today to find out how to populate your patient portal or consumer website with the information your users are looking for.

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Will EMR vendors make the most of the Meaningful Use reprieve?

Meaningful Use By EHR

Nothing is final yet, but in all likelihood Meaningful Use Stage 2 won't kick in until 2014. In addition, some of the draft recommendations floating around look a lot like Stage 1 with stricter compliance levels. In other words: much of the work for Stage 2 is going to fall on EPs and hospitals, rather than on EMR vendors. There will likely be some new functionality -- especially around provider-patient communication -- but probably not the crush of requirements we saw in Stage 1.

So what will EMR, EHR, and HIS vendors do with their reprieve? If they're smart, they'll take this opportunity to improve their products in ways that aren't (yet!) required by Meaningful Use but which will give them an advantage in the market. Here's some functionality that EMRs may be using this reprieve to pursue:

 

  • Implementing dose range checking: From a clinical point of view, this is one of the big gaps in what we've seen so far in the first two stages of Meaningful Use. Many of the news stories we read about adverse drug events aren't about interactions or allergies at all -- they're about mistakes in dosing. This is especially true with pediatric dosing, which can be extremely complicated. If dosage precautions were more widely implemented, patient safety would be positively affected.
  • Addressing alert fatigue: Many EMR systems are likely to live or die based on this issue alone. Whoever can figure it out will have an undeniable benefit over the competition. As with many Meaningful Use issues, it starts with drug information vendors -- does yours provide the detail needed to make alerts intelligent?
  • Improving patient education: The new recommendations for Stage 2 Meaningful Use are all about provider-patient communication. And transcripts of workgroups show that CMS and ONC are very interested in improving not just the method of communication, but the quality of information that flows through it. It seems likely that this will eventually include things like specific patient education materials for pediatric and adult patients, delivered in the language they primarily speak.

EMR vendors that can solve some or all of these issues now will find themselves ahead of the game when the next round of MU guidelines come out. Not only that, but they'll be delivering real value to clinicians that sets them apart from all the other cookie-cutter competitors who are simply "checking boxes" on the Meaningful Use checklist.

But where to start? Lexicomp is a drug and clinical information vendor who can help with all of the items listed above -- and with many more as well. Call or fill out a form today to start learning about how Lexicomp can help you build value for your users, save money and development resources, and meet government requirements for your EMR system. (Note: The Lexicomp solution Lexi-Data referenced in this post has been replaced by newer Medi-Span solutions as of January 2013.)

 

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Drug-Drug Interactions

Drug-Drug Interactions

Are you looking to complete your clinical decision making process by imbedding quality and trusted drug data, complete with FDA Black Box Warnings directly into the workflow?  If so, there are several options currently on the marketplace whether it be web based URLs (APIs), Web Services, or XML Datasets.  Lexicomp can provide each option with drug - allergy checking, drug-drug interactions, duplicate therapy checking, and drug lists. (Note: The Lexicomp solution Lexi-Data referenced in this post has been replaced by newer Medi-Span solutions as of January 2013.)


These options have the ability to intregrate directly into any hospital’s EMR, CPOE, pharmacy system, or Web portal.  Still have questions, contact Lexicomp today to find out more about your options.
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Now Available: Faster and more efficient clinical decision making

Have you been looking for the perfect mix of better alerts as to fight off alert fatigue, while at the same time improving the clinical decisions made by physicians, pharmacists, and nurses? Well, Lexicomp has been hard at work ensuring the perfect fix: easy-to-implement solutions that integrate seamlessly within any hospital’s EMR, CPOE, pharmacy system, or Web portal!  Our solution allows for a direct connection to Lexicomp’s trusted drug information. (Note: The Lexicomp solution Lexi-Data referenced in this post has been replaced by newer Medi-Span solutions as of January 2013.)
 
Lexicomp has recently included new functionality that can alert users with the appropriate Black Box Warning where needed in the current workflow.  These Black Box Warnings, the strongest issued by the US Food and Drug Administration, list vital information indicating if the drugs could cause serious side effects--good information to have right within your workflow!
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Web Services Now Available for EMRs to provide drug information

In the last several years that have been more and more EMR entrants into the ambulatory marketplace.  As part of the development of these products they have been required to include drug information as part of their clinical decision support solution.  Lately there have been more requests to provide this drug and medicine information by way of web services calls rather than embedding the data directly into the product.  Often times there might be limitations on the EMR's development team and accessing this drug information through web services call could be the simpler solution.

Lexicomp recently released web services calls for drug information that would cover Meaningful Use Stage 1.    So for EMRs in the development stage looking for:

  •   Drug - allergy checking
  •   Drug - drug interaction
  •   Duplicate therapy checking
  •   Drug lists


You might want to give Lexicomp a call. (Note: The Lexicomp solution Lexi-Data referenced in this post has been replaced by newer Medi-Span solutions as of January 2013.)

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Clinical Decision Support and Alert Fatigue

One of the key reasons that clinicians are frustrated with decision support related to drug interaction software is the potential for alert fatigue. Clinicans do not want to be messaged regarding dosage precautions related to an interaction which has already been recognized and addressed. It is particularly important in the era of electronic prescribing to engineer systems which can present the appropriate information to the appropriate person. Systems need to recognize whether an individual has previously addressed the issue, rather than simply blindly alerting to the presence of two medications within the medicine list. A collaborative effort between drug database providers and application vendors is needed, and discussions to improve the quality of alerts, while decreasing the quantity, are moving forward. These will greatly improve satisfaction with these tools. 

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EMR developers searching for drug and disease information providers that are easy to work with

What do these words have in common?  "Pediatric dosing information; Medicine lists; Medicine brand names;  Drug-drug interaction;  Drug-allergy interactions; Drug interaction database; ePrescribing;  Patient education."  

There are many EMR products under development, many targeting smaller hospitals and ambulatory facilities.  There are also a number of other EMR and Practice Management products that are going through major product re-design.  Many of these development groups need to confront the decision about what drug information supplier to use.  As the title of this posting says "EMR developers are now searching for drug and disease information providers that are easy to work with" (Note: most are not).   This might not sound like a tall order, but as it turns out, it is much more difficult than they think.   It's about the data as much as it about the quality of the relationship as well as the flexibility and helpfulness of the vendor. 

How much will they help in setting up the API's?  Do they have specific pediatric dose range checking?  Do they have patient education leaflets? Are they available in foreign languages? 

                         One drug data provider stands out above else....Lexicomp.  If your serious, check them out. 
(Note: The Lexicomp solution Lexi-Data referenced in this post has been replaced by newer Medi-Span solutions as of January 2013.)

 

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Looking for easy implementation of a drug reference database? Look no further!

Drug Reference Database

Don't get discourgaged when looking for a drug data partner. Whether you have a laundry list of items or a small budget, Lexicomp has an intuitive database design that will help you seamlessly integrate complex drug reference databases into your system, allowing for easy implementation.

 

Other items that Lexicomp can help check off your list: (Note: The Lexicomp solution Lexi-Data referenced in this post has been replaced by newer Medi-Span solutions as of January 2013.)

  • Consumer-facing patient education materials in 19 languages
  • Compliance with the RxNorm 
  • Dosage range checking, for both adult and pediatric

And many more!  

 

 

 

 

 

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A Quality Drug Interaction List and Addressing Alert Fatigue.

As it is part of Meaningful Use Stage 1, drug interaction checking is a critical piece.  Not only is it required for reimbursement, but it is also important for improving patient safety.  The difference between content and the quality and depth of the interaction information that you choose to integrate is important to understand.  Many common drug references have an interaction checker where you can manually enter the medications a patient is taking and check for the significance of any interactions.  For clinicians and patient safety this is important; however, when it resides outside of the workflow it can become time consuming.  

A drug interaction list within your system can increase the likelihood that interactions will be checked as it puts these alerts directly into the workflow.  Some of the most important aspects are not the common drug interactions, but the uncommon interactions that are not widely known. Keep in mind that users of your system will most likely want to customize or localize alerts to cut down on the number of insignificant alerts to reduce alert fatigue.  Lexi-Data can help with this as the database is structured to allow for customization, turning off of certain alerts, and is an overall robust interaction checker covering common and less common drug interactions. Lexi-data also allows for drug interaction checking via a web service so there is less IT development time and maintenance.  Contact Lexicomp to request more information on drug interaction lists. (Note: The Lexicomp solution Lexi-Data referenced in this post has been replaced by newer Medi-Span solutions as of January 2013.)

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