Pharmacy Technology News

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

EHR Toolkit Available forWest Virginians

West Virginia residents, including physicians,clinicians, and patients, have newresources available to help them understandelectronic health records (EHRs).

"This toolkit of resources includespamphlets, brochures, and posters thatphysicians can use to help their patientsunderstand the many benefits of havingelectronic health records, as well asprivacy and security precautions," PattyRuddick, project director of the WestVirginia Health Information Security andPrivacy Collaboration, said.

The resources are available in bothprint form and electronically in downloadableform at www.eHealthWV.org.The Web site also features more informationon EHRs and health informationexchange. The eHealthWV effort—funded as part of a federal grant—isproviding this information now, becausethe switch to EHRs has started in WestVirginia, and the pace is expected to pickup in the next few years.

The West Virginia initiative is part ofa national effort to educate individualsand providers about the importance ofprivacy and security in using EHRs. Thefederal government has set a goal of2014 for most Americans to have EHRs.

SPEAK InitiativeUnderscores Med SafetyAwareness

Pharmacy OneSource Inc recentlylaunched the Sharing Pharmacy Experienceand Knowledge (SPEAK) initiativeto focus public and industry attentionon medication safety awareness.

Health care professionals can visit theofficial Web site (speak.rph.com)and submit actions they or their organizationshave taken that successfully preventedor reduced the risk of medicationerrors. These error reduction actions willbe posted at speak.rph.com andshared with Pharmacy OneSource.

"It is vitally important to share theactions that the health care communityis implementing to help prevent medicationerrors," said Allen Vaida, PharmD,FASHP, executive vice president of theInstitute for Safe Medication Practices(ISMP). "SPEAK will give health care professionalsa chance to highlight howthey have incorporated error reductionrecommendations from ISMP to preventerrors and improve medication use processes."

Kirby Lester AidsHumanitarian Cause

Flood victims in Honduras' second largestcity were able to receive their medicationsthanks to Kirby Lester's donation.The Little Friends International group wasable to dispense >100,000 vitamin tabletsand filled 3700 prescriptions usingKirby Lester's KL15e tablet counter.

Little Friends International, in partnershipwith Cure International, sent a teamof physicians, nurses, dentists, and othervolunteers, plus nearly 7 tons of suppliesfor a massive humanitarian project inSan Pedro Sula in the northeast cornerof Honduras.

The humanitarian group treated >3000Hondurans, many of whom were displacedby devastating floods in October.Each patient was given 30 vitamin tablets,in addition to any necessary prescriptionmedications. Using the KL15ecounter, the 4-person field pharmacystaff finished packing all medications andvitamins in <5 days, or about 25% lesstime than it would have taken countingby hand.

"This is the first time we dispensedvitamins to each patient and to everymember of the patient's family. Thispresented an unexpected amount ofwork for our pharmacy. The Kirby Lestermachine was a godsend," commentedDr. Mary Pergiovanni, founder andpresident of Little Friends International."Honduras endures about 95% humiditywith frequent rains&#8212;that is not anideal environment for any machine. Weworked with Kirby Lester very hard, andit held up perfectly."

Tennessee AcceleratesE-Prescribing Adoption

Tennessee is on the verge of mainstreamelectronic prescribing (e-prescribing)adoption. The number of active electronicprescribers in the state is at 1792,up 127% from last year, and 749% from2006. E-prescribing also has increased.In 2008, Tennessee health care providersgenerated 1.5 million electronicprescriptions&#8212;a 160% increase from2007 and about 3% of all prescriptionsin the state.

In an effort to keep Tennessee ontrack for e-prescribing, Democratic GovPhil Bredesen recently met with statehealth care leaders to launch e-PrescribeTennessee, a collaborative frameworkof health care industry stakeholdersthat will work to accelerate e-prescribingadoption in the state. E-PrescribeTennessee will have pharmacists, physicians,nurses, and others in public andprivate sector health care leading theorganization.

This group will work on building cooperationand coordination among prescribingconstituents and educating thepublic on the benefits of e-prescribing.Gov Bredesen said that the collaborationwas the strategy Tennessee needed toguide them through the make-or-breakperiod for mainstream e-prescribingadoption statewide. He emphasizedthat pharmacists, physicians, and statehealth care leaders need to continue towork together to speed up e-prescribingadoption.