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Published Online: Sunday, June 1, 2008   [ Request Print ]

ARx Benefits Pharmacists, Patients

SUPERVALU Pharmacies recently deployed ARx?a next-generation pharmacy management system.

Designed, developed, and tested by SUPERVALU pharmacists and technicians, ARx streamlines pharmacy work flow and operations. The system introduces new technologies such as prescription label imaging and thermal printing. The application also features process enhancements, which include a fully integrated electronic-prescribing module that provides a safer, more efficient method for prescription delivery.

The pharmacy has already seen the benefits of the system with patients. The new computer application prints both patient medication vial labels and patient information sheets using large text, which makes it easier for patients to read important details about the prescriptions and medical conditions. Furthermore, patients can reorder prescriptions, check refill status, and verify pharmacy hours using ARx's 24-hour telephone refill system. ARx also places important counseling information and prescription history at the fingertips of pharmacists.



Conference Will Address Health Information Technology

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation and eHealth Initiative will host an "HIT, EMR, PHR? Transforming Patient Care" conference June 11-12, 2008, in Arlington, Virginia.

The conference seeks to address the use of technology in electronic prescribing (e-prescribing), medication therapy management, patient education programs, comprehensive medication review, and other initiatives to manage data and improve patient health. Conference sessions will:

  • Explore what is driving health information technology (HIT) in both the public and private sectors
  • Discuss trends, regulations, and standards that will affect the adoption of electronic medical records, e-prescribing, personal health records, and other HIT
  • Explore the potential benefits that pharmacy can gain by becoming engaged and present clear next steps for pharmacy to take to continue the advancement of HIT

For more information, visit www.nacdsfoundation.org.



Final Rule Establishes New Medicare Standards

A new regulation from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is intended to help individuals eligible to enroll in Medicare's prescription drug program experience greater safety, increased use of lower-cost generic equivalents, and more efficient communication between their physician and pharmacy.

The final rule establishes Part D electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) standards for 4 types of information:

  • Formulary and benefits allows physicians and other prescribers to communicate with Part D sponsors about which drugs are covered by a Medicare-eligible individual's prescription drug plan
  • Medication history allows physicians and other providers, as well as dispensers and Part D sponsors, to communicate with each other about prescribed drugs a beneficiary has taken or is taking.
  • Fill status notification allows physicians and other providers to receive an electronic notice from the pharmacy or other dispenser telling them that a patient's Rx has been picked up, has not been picked up, or has been partially filled
  • Provider identifier requires providers, dispensers, and Part D sponsors to use the National Provider Identifier to identify individual health care providers in Part D e-prescribing transactions


Bay State Triumphs Again

Massachusetts did it again. For the second straight year, the state ranked first in the country for electronic prescribing (e-prescribing). The Bay State along with 9 other states received Safe-Rx Awards.

Prescribers in Massachusetts sent >4 million prescriptions electronically, representing 13.4% of all eligible prescriptions in the state, a figure that was >6 times the national average. The results were based on an analysis of data on new prescriptions and refill responses electronically sent during 2007 over the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange, which is operated by SureScripts. The recipients are:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Rhode Island
  3. Nevada
  4. Delaware
  5. Michigan
  6. Maryland
  7. North Carolina
  8. Arizona
  9. Connecticut
  10. Washington

The Safe-Rx Award is given annually by the nation's community pharmacists to the top 10 e-prescribing states in the nation, and to 3 prescribers in each winning state who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in their use of e-prescribing. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the National Community Pharmacists Association, and SureScripts created the Safe-Rx Awards to increase awareness of e-prescribing as a more secure, accurate, and informed means of prescribing patients' medication.

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