Technology News

Pharmacy TimesSeptember 2009
Volume 75
Issue 9

New Modules a Virtual Boon for Indy Pharmacies

Cardinal Health has made its online training resource even more resourceful. The recent addition of 14 new modules to myPharmacyTrainer has helped the training application to become more comprehensive and useful to independent pharmacies. gCardinal Healthfs myPharmacyTrainer is a fun, easy way to train my staff to better serve patients and teach them how to help me run a more efficient, successful business,h said Jay Lalkiya, owner of Apalachin Pharmacy in Apalachin, New York. An interactive pharmacy designed similar to a video game comes equipped with virtual patients who present with a variety of health care needs. Pharmacy staff members consult with gpatientsh and answer questions, thereby learning how to identify the best products and services to address a large range of issues. With each module taking less than 15 minutes to complete, the training method fits well into the fast-paced schedule of a pharmacy. Not only does myPharmacyTrainer aim to improve patient care, it also seeks to deliver better business operations and increased sales for independent pharmacy owners and managers. The training resource is available to all Cardinal Health retail pharmacy customers by visiting mypharmacytrainer.

Wireless Health Care to Spread Like Wildfire

Wireless technologies are everywhere, and the world of health care is no exception. According to new research, wireless home-based health care applications and services represent an area poised for booming growth in the United States, projected to become a $4.4-billion industry by 2013. The 5-year cumulative annual growth rate will be more than 180%, predicted by international research firm Parks Associates. "Wireless is an important crossover point for the health care sector and hightech industry. Device and service connectivity is the model for future home care applications, and mobile networks will link a growing number of monitoring products to health care providers," said Harry Wang, Parks Associates' director of health and mobile product research. A major contributor to the expansion of the wireless health care market comes from the Obama administrationfs drive for health care reform, according to the Parks Associates' report. The federal governmentfs focus on promoting such technologies is evidenced by stimulus funds dedicated to the adoption of electronic medical records, the report, entitled Wireless Healthcare: Analysis and Forecasts, stated. The arena of home health care can glean benefits from wireless technologies in such areas as medication management, medical diagnostic device monitoring, chronic care management, senior independent living solutions, and wellness and fitness applications.

Social Networking for Safety Enlists Pharmacy, Nursing Pros

The importance of safety in all areas of health care cannot be overstated. The Baxa Corporation recognizes this and has created a clearinghouse for information, ideas, and resources to enhance safety in medication and patient care practices with its new gCulture of Safetyh page on Facebook. gWe believe that health care safety and quality is not a one-time event; it is a fundamental shift in attitude,h said Marian Robinson, vice president of marketing at Baxa. gOur Culture of Safety program supports this reform by giving health care practitioners the tools they need to be champions of this change.h Baxa is encouraging pharmacy and nursing professionals to become a part of the movement by sharing experiences, insights, and ideas for bettering their professions and formulating solutions to enhance safety for patients. The Facebook page also provides a place for health care providers to post Web sites and other resources that help to promote safety in a variety of areas.

Patients Increasingly Turn to Internet for Medical Advice

More and more patients are seeking medical facts via the Internet in order to become better informed for asking pertinent questions of pharmacists and other health care professionals. The number of adult patients looking to the Web to answer health questions has almost doubled to 61%, as compared with previous research done in 2006, according to a report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project and the California HealthCare Foundation. Health care professionals are reportedly consulted by 86% of patients, with family and friends garnering second place at 68%. When driven to do their own research, patients turn equally to the Internet, books, or other print materials, the research, entitled The Social Life of Health Information Report, showed.

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