pharmacy TECHNOLOGY news

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

RelayHealth Will StreamlineCommunication

McKesson has completed the acquisitionof Per-Se Technologies Inc, a providerof financial and administrativehealth care solutions for hospitals, physicians,and retail pharmacies. The purchasealso gives McKesson the opportunityto combine the connectivity assetsfrom both companies into a new businessknown as RelayHealth.

The goal of RelayHealth is to improvehow physicians, hospitals, pharmacies,payers, and patients share information,interact, and collaborate to enhance thequality of care. RelayHealth will operatein a vendor-neutral manner, supportingconnectivity and interoperability withboth McKesson and non-McKesson solutions.

In the area of pharmacy solutions,RelayHealth combines the Per-Se IntelligentNetwork with McKesson pharmacynetworking services to process>8.5 billion pharmacy transactions annuallyand maintain connections to >90% ofthe nation's pharmacies. For payers andproviders, RelayHealth will leverage thestrengths of McKesson's TransactionSolutions Hub and related services withPer-Se's corresponding revenue cyclemanagement offerings. In the customerspace, McKesson's existing RelayHealthbusiness pioneered and is quickly growingits physician-patient connectivity andcare-management tools and servicesthat connect physicians with theirpatients, other physicians, providers,pharmacies, and payers.

Counterfeit Drugs Can BeDetected

Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy(SORS) is a new technique that can verifythe ingredients of a pharmaceuticalproduct. The technique is more accurateat identifying fake drugs, compared withthe conventional methods of analysis,according to researchers in the UnitedKingdom.

SORS can investigate deep layers ofmaterial, separating interfering signalscoming from packaging, drug coatings,and inactive ingredients. Therefore, SORSconfirms the actual content and concentrationof a drug without ever openingthe package, reported the researchers inAnalytical Chemistry (March 1, 2007).

For the study, the researchers examinedmultiple containers of ibuprofen andparacetamol (acetaminophen) packagedin blister packs, plastic bottles, or jars.SORS and conventional spectroscopywere used to examine each package.Thefindings indicated that with the conventionalapproach intense spectral bandsfrom the packaging would often overlapthose of the drug being evaluated. Whenusing the SORS method, however, thesignal from the packaging was effectivelysuppressed, providing a more accuratereadout.

Independent Pharmacy TransformsRx Filling

Tim's Pharmacy in Yelm, Wash, hasimplemented Innovation Associates'PharmASSIST ROBOTx system along withPharmASSIST Symphony work flow andVoice-Tech IVR to automate the pharmacy'sfulfillment and refill process.

On average, the pharmacy fills 350scripts per day and has peak days ofapproximately 600 prescriptions. Theindependent's technology suite encompassesthe PharmASSIST ROBOTx system(140 dispensers), PharmASSISTSmartScale to augment manual countingfor nonautomated drugs, and 6 flexibleworkstations to handle various workflowtasks using PharmASSIST Symphony.To automate the refill process, thepharmacy uses Voice-Tech IVR in combinationwith fully integrated Symphony.The PharmASSIST ROBOTx/Symphonysystem is integrated with Tim's Pharmacy'smanagement system, QS/1,ensuring real-time prescription orderflow.

Rxe-source Helps with PharmacyShortage

Robert J. Moura, MSc, director of pharmacyat Emerson Hospital in Concord,Mass, has found a way to circumvent theshortage of pharmacists to provide reliable24/7 order fulfillment. Instead of tryingto find staffing for the third shift, thehospital implemented Rxe-source.

Cardinal Health's Rxe-source providesremote medication order entry and reviewby pharmacists trained on a hospital'spolicies and procedures, who are fullylicensed and state board-approved at oneof Cardinal's regional service centers.

The Rxe-source works in 3 ways:(1) whenever a medication order needsto be reviewed, a staff member can faxor scan the order to the Rxe-source pharmacyservice center; (2) orders arequeued so that STAT orders are reviewedfirst. The Rxe-source pharmacist logs intothe hospital's pharmacy computerthrough a secure connection, reviewsand enters the order, and documentsconsultations; and (3) if the hospital usesautomated dispensing cabinets, then themedication is automatically approved forthe nurse to access. If the hospital doesnot have automation, the nurse receivesa fax approval.

In addition, if the hospital has a questionor needs drug information, the staffcan call the Rxe-source pharmacy servicecenter and speak with a pharmacist.The pharmacy center provides the hospital'sdirector of pharmacy with a briefingof the shift's activities.