Pharmacy Technology News

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‣ Conference Pushes for E-prescribing

The recent National E-prescribing Conferencedrew >1400 health care professionalsand industry leaders. Hosted bythe Centers for Medicare & MedicaidServices (CMS), the conference encouragedthe adoption of electronic prescribing(e-prescribing).

An e-prescribing incentive paymentprogram is included in the recentlyenacted Medicare Improvements forPatients and Providers Act of 2008.Under the legislation, scheduled tobegin January 1, 2009, physicians whoadopt e-prescribing technology in 2009and 2010 will receive a 2% bonus in theirMedicare payments. Clinicians who usethe technology in 2011 and 2012 willreceive a 1% bonus; and those who useit in 2013 will receive a 0.5% bonus.Physicians who do not use the technologywill see a reduction in their Medicarepayments.

"Some doctors have been doing it for10-plus years, and some will continueto resist it," noted David Brailer, MD,chairman of Health Evolution Partners.Health and Human Services SecretaryMichael O. Leavitt said, "We need thehealth care system to get better, ande-prescribing is the next logical step."

As for selecting e-prescribing technology,the government has not designateda preferred vendor. "We've kept it vendorneutral," explained Kerry Weems,CMS acting administrator. "We said,'Let's have standards and let the marketdictate who meets them.'"

‣ IntelliDOT Modules Help Optimize Patient Safety

Louisiana State University Health CareServices Division plans to integrate 3modules from IntelliDOT Corp as partof an enhanced patient safety initiative.

The IntelliDOT Bedside MedicationAdministration has easy-to-read screenprompts that guide the nurse throughmedication administration workflowsat the bedside. The system is used toverify the 5 rights of medication administration.Each nurse receives customizedprompts and warnings to ensuremedications are administered and documentedcorrectly.

Using the same handheld device anda small portable wireless printer, theIntelliDOT Mother–Baby Breast MilkMatching allows the nurse to print barcode labels for milk containers at thetime the milk is received from the mother,or the mother can take and apply thelabels at home. At administration, theinfant's identification band is scannedalong with the breast milk container,ensuring positive identification andaccurate feeding.

The IntelliDOT Vital Signs Collectiontakes vital sign information and clinicaldocumentation and captures it usingthe same handheld device. The captureddata can populate the electronicmedication administration record orelectronic flow sheets and/or print onseparate patient-specific flow sheets.The admissions, discharges, transfers,and pharmacy-encoded orderswill be passed from McKesson HorizonPharmacy System via an HL7 interfaceand will be sent wirelessly to theIntelliDOT handheld.

‣ Guide Helps Clinicians Go Paperless

The eHealth Initiative and several healthcare organizations have issued the firstcomprehensive how-to guide to help cliniciansmake informed decisions abouthow and when to transition from paperto electronic prescribing (e-prescribing)systems.

"We know e-prescribing is an efficientway to improve health care delivery,decrease medication errors, andprevent potentially dangerous druginteractions," said Janet Marchibroda,eHealth Initiative chief executive officer."However, the transition from apaper to electronic system is quite challenging."

Developed under the guidance of asteering group comprised of clinicians,pharmacies, health plans, employers,and 4 major medical associations,"A Clinician's Guide to ElectronicPrescribing" is designed to meet theneeds of 2 target audiences. The firstsection of the guide targets office-basedclinicians who are new to the conceptof e-prescribing. The second section ofthe guide targets office-based clinicianswho are ready to move forward andbring e-prescribing into their practices.

‣ CA Hospital Implements PharmASSIST Solutions

Little Company of Mary Hospital-Torrance(Torrance, CA) has implementedInnovation's PharmASSIST ROBOTxand PharmASSIST Symphony systemsas a key component of its ongoingpatient safety initiative.

From a workflow perspective, PharmASSISTSymphony provides bar codescanning for every step of the pharmacy'sfulfillment process. To beginthe workflow, pharmacy staff scanevery hard copy prescription, enablinga paperless workflow by which theycan view the original prescription imageduring Rx verification or when trackingor troubleshooting a prescription.

In order to process an average of200 Rxs daily, with peaks reaching 250,the pharmacy employs a 100 dispenserROBOTx system completely integratedwith the PharmASSIST Symphonyworkflow and its workstations. ThePharmASSIST systems are in turn integratedwith the pharmacy's HCC pharmacymanagement system and Voice-Tech IVR for refill processing

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