Pharmacy Times
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E-prescribing Tops Panel?s Recommendations

The California Medication Errors Panel wants physicians to use electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) to reduce medical errors. The panel?s report also recommended adding the purpose of a medication to prescription drug labels, labeling bottles in different languages, and creating a public education campaign.

In addition, the panel suggested establishing a state-funded pilot project to amass the data on the frequency of medication errors at pharmacies in the state. Former state Sen Jackie Speier estimated that up to ?150,000 Californians are jeopardized every year through injuries and/or deaths? as a result of the state legislature not making an effort to reduce medical errors.

Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger?s administration said that some of the panel?s recommendations are part of the governor?s proposal to reform the state?s health care system. The governor has proposed that an e-prescribing system be implemented by 2010. By next year, he would like to see hospitals and clinics adopt safety measures related to surgical errors and adverse drug events, infection control, and new reporting requirements, as well as the creation of an Office of Patient Safety.

Hospital Raises the Bar on Patient Safety

General Health System of Baton Rouge, La, has begun implementing a range of McKesson systems designed to support pharmacists, nurses, physicians, and other members of the health care team in the delivery of safe, effective care. The technology is being used throughout Baton Rouge General Medical Center (BRGMC) and surrounding ambulatory care settings.

Critical to BRGMC?s initiative is the Horizon Ambulatory Care EHR solution, which includes electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) and practice management technology. The e-prescribing system allows >300 associated and participating referring physicians to automatically perform drug screening for allergies, problems, and other medications while checking prescriptions against payer formularies and eligibility rules. As part of the physician offerings, the physician portal technology will enable secure, Web-based access to patient data regardless of the physician?s location.

The hospital?s central pharmacy is using ROBOT-Rx to automate the manual medication-dispensing processes with a high-volume, bar-code?driven robotic dispensing system for unit-dose medications. The hospital is also using Medication Safety Advantage to support patient safety. The solution includes handheld, bar-code?scanning devices to alert the nurses to check for the 5 Rights of Medication Safety.

The final phase of BRGMC?s technology upgrade will be the deployment of Horizon Expert Orders. The application provides physicians and other clinicians with advanced decision support based on the role of the clinician, the patient?s condition, and evidence-based clinical knowledge.

Viagra to Undergo E-pedigree Trial

Pfizer is preparing for its first electronic pedigree (e-pedigree) trial with silde-nafil citrate (Viagra). This year?s trial will document the movement of individually tagged bottles of the erectile dysfunction drug as they leave the drugmaker?s facilities to go to distributors, wholesalers, and other partners.

The drug manufacturer plans to use e-pedigree services provided by SupplyScape. That company?s software will create secure files that will store the radio frequency identification (RFID) tags? unique identification numbers, along with shipping and transaction data, lot number, and other information specific to each bottle. This system is expected to conform with EPCglobal?s newly ratified e-pedigree protocol, developed to provide the pharmaceutical industry with a common format for supply chain partners to use in gathering pedigree data.

The e-pedigree trial expands Pfizer?s current RFID initiatives. In the past year, the company has successfully affixed high-frequency tags to >2 million bottles of Viagra, while applying passive EPC UHF tags to 55,000 cases and 400 pallets containing the drug.

The company has also been using SupplyScape?s RxAuthentication Service. The service is designed to allow wholesalers and pharmacies to use Supply-Scape?s service in validating the authenticity of RFID tags on the drugs they receive.

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