Pharmacy Technology News

JANUARY 01, 2009

ScriptPro to Handle FDA Drug Database The FDA has awarded ScriptPro a contract to provide a searchable drug database for the agency's internal use. The database, which is based on the drug information resource provided by ScriptPro to support its pharmacy automation system, will include all prescription and OTC drug products available.

Features of the database include:

  • High-quality drug and drug package images for onscreen product verification
  • All versions of each drug released in the market, including images, markings, and other descriptive elements distinguishing the National Drug Code versions
  • Auxiliary warning labels applicable to the products
  • Drug-specific alerts including black box warning labels

ScriptPro's industry data resource team works closely with pharmaceutical and OTC manufacturers to incorporate new products and changes into the database. The company will monitor the FDA's internal records and provide information to keep FDA data current.

Boston Tracks Flu Shot Vaccinations

Infectious disease specialists in Boston have a new way to track flu shots, aimed at eventually creating a citywide registry of individuals who have had a flu vaccination.

The Boston Public Health Commission recently launched a trial at its headquarters. Individuals who arrived for their shot were given an identification bracelet with a bar code. Basic information, such as name, age, sex, and address, was entered into the patient tracking database. The system also has the capability for electronic records to track who administered the vaccine and whether it was injected into the right or left arm, and the electronic record will be timestamped for that day.

The data could be used to determine why some patients had to wait longer than others to be vaccinated. "When all is said and done," said Jun Davantes, director of product management at EMSystems, the company that makes the technology, "Boston will be able to identify where there are certain bottlenecks in the process and hopefully improve it the next time around."

Independent Pharmacies Implement PASS Rx

Independent pharmacies Prevo Drug Inc and Person Street Pharmacy have implemented Centice Corp's PASS Rx at their North Carolina?based pharmacies.

Traditionally, pharmacists have relied on largely subjective manual checks based on visual appearance. PASS Rx verifies the chemical composition of dispensed oral solid drugs. Core computational sensor and machine vision technologies confirm the accuracy of the majority of dispensed pharmaceuticals in a matter of seconds.

At the Asheboro-based Prevo Drug Inc, PASS Rx is incorporated at the end of the fulfillment process. After a prescription is filled, the pharmacist will place the bottled medication in the PASS Rx system. The medication is verified, bagged, and prepared for the patient, ensuring dispensing accuracy by minimizing opportunities for error.

Raleigh-based Person Street Pharmacy also has integrated PASS Rx as the final step in its workflow routine. By verifying the bottled prescription as the last step in the fulfillment process, the pharmacist ensures an uninterrupted flow of verified medication directly to the patient.

Patient Safety Initiatives Recognized

Albert Einstein Healthcare Network and Rep Allyson Schwartz (PA-13) were recognized by 375 Philadelphia-area hospitals and health care leaders at the recent 2008 Annual Meeting of the Delaware Valley Healthcare Council of the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP).

The hospital received the 2008 Delaware Patient Safety Award for applying the concept of bundles—a practice primarily used for reducing central line infections to prevent errors in the medication delivery cycle. Every prescription processed by the pharmacy department for Einstein's tertiary acute care teaching hospital and subsidiary practice sites was checked and signed off on 4 times: twice during medication order entry and twice during medication dispensing. Using this simple checklist approach, the Einstein pharmacy team reduced medication order entry errors by nearly 40% between the first and second quarters of 2008. Dispensing and high-alert medication errors dropped >60% for the same time period. In recognition of these achievements, The Health Care Improvement Foundation awarded Einstein a $5000 grant to help support future patient safety initiatives.

Rep Schwartz received the Delaware Valley Healthcare Council of HAP's 2008 Leadership Award for her work on legislation to improve the efficiency of health care delivery and the accuracy and safety of the physician prescription process through the use of electronic prescribing (e-prescribing). The legislation gives physicians who treat Medicare patients a one-time payment toward the cost of technology needed for e-prescribing. The bill also provides a 1% bonus for every Medicare prescription a physician writes electronically. Through Rep Schwartz's dedication and perseverance, this legislation was included in the Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act of 2008.