The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) recently surveyed a sample of community pharmacists, finding that 58% consider theft and fraud to be “a serious problem.” All too often, prescription drug inventory management systems and workflow processes lack truly comprehensive security or real-time inventory tracking.Prescription drug security is not simply an issue of lost inventory or fraud, it is also a serious safety concern. With advances in artificial intelligence and ‘fuzzy’ logic (an approach to computing based on ‘degrees of truth’), and in logistics and supply (e.g. This means that pharmacists are in an excellent position to not only play a more primary role in treating illness, but also in preventive care. In addition to answering drug information queries, InpharmD collates information from accurate resources to speed up topic searching. Best-in-class events, experts and engagement for delivering innovative and compliant meetings and promotional programs. From automation that can fill prescriptions to apps that provide drug information, there is a fear that technology may one day replace many of the hospital pharmacist’s and hospital pharmacy technician’s functions. With technology changing current medical thought and practices, it is critical for pharmacists to embrace the use of technology to expand pharmacy services and grow beyond traditional roles. “This will have huge ramifications because not only does the pharmacy have that laboratory data, the patient’s provider will want that data, which will need to be shared through an integrated electronic health record system.”. Understanding Pharmacy Technology. Additionally, they can consult with real pharmacists about their medication or medical concerns. Technology advances in pharmacy include innovations that improve medication safety, efficiency, and patient compliance. Registered in England and Wales. While the pharmacy profession is well-paid and respected, it does have some negative aspects. Role of Pharmacists ... new research evaluating how pharmacist services affect immediate and downstream care costs, particularly as part of health care teams, will ... the use of health information technology (HIT), … For example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is exploring the development of an app to identify tablets and capsules. “We can sit back and keep practicing as we see what works, while the rest of the field flies past, or we keep up with changes and keep relevant. Communication Skills & Pharmacy Technicians. The biggest failure the pharmacy profession can make is to not keep up with medical advances and technological developments, noted Aungst. Donald J. Dietz, RPh, MS. We strongly believe that only digital health can bring healthcare into the 21st century and make patients the point-of-care. By automatically filling prescriptions, pharmacists have more time to spend in patient counseling roles. One such service is the telepharmacy, which brings pharmacy services to the internet. In two recent articles, Trupti Sarang lent her expertise as a clinical pharmacist. “A pharmacist could look up the remote tag and see if the medication is on the way, if it’s still in the pharmacy, or if it is on another floor because it got lost.”. acquisition of new tasks by hospital pharmacist. InpharmD, developed by Ashish Advani, PharmD, professor at Mercer University’s College of Pharmacy, is the first iPhone app to offer customized drug information. Additionally, when a business is more in touch with its present and potential customers, the more chance it has to build a strong customer loyalty base. “They have all the photos of the medications, and they are trying to figure out a way a patient could take a photo of a drug and identify it,” said Aungst. Aungst used the example of Uber’s rise to success to demonstrate the danger of becoming complacent. Using technology can potentially create new revenue streams for your pharmacy. “I like this story because despite all that robots can do, it reminds me that pharmacists will need to be part of the operations. “We are getting to the point where there is more communication between hospitals and community pharmacies, and [in] many community pharmacy chains like CVS and Walgreens, walk-in clinics are located right next to the pharmacy,” said Aungst. The Impact of New Technology on Pharmacy. Computer technology helps pharmacies better manage their supplies. According to the company’s website, the service has more than 20,000 scientific journals, more than 20 million scientific articles, and several other resources. Today, many mobile apps coming on the market are capable of processing drug interactions, performing medication identification, and serving as drug information services. For millions of others, it has brought much needed services to their rural or remote locations, where they might not otherwise have benefited from the same services others take for granted. The growth of technology has positively affected how pharmacists and pharmacy technicians go about their work, according to the survey. Take a look and see just what new pharmacy technology there is. Subscribers submit complex clinical questions through the website or the app and receive customized, evidence-based responses within a requested time period. In the new version, Mr. Bucket is replaced by a robot to screw the cap on toothpaste. As technology continues to evolve, the medical field as a whole is trying to learn how to adjust to technology, noted Aungst. Artificial Intelligence. Traditionally, this involved a system of inputting the information, filling the prescription, a technician visual check of the prescription, and a pharmacist visual verification. This site is part of the Informa Connect Division of Informa PLC. The pharmacy becomes a one-stop shop because pharmacists have access to medication and lab results, and they can counsel patients and collaborate with patients’ providers to optimize their medications. This gap is clearest when it comes to the problem of medicines adherence. “This leads to a job loss, and the family panics,” said Aungst. Some systems require the techs to check off boxes to ensure each prescription has been verified, increasing efficiency with a simpler system. The future of pharmacy has been an ongoing discussion for some years. “These technologies help speed up the logistics of drug preparation and verification so patients get their medications faster,” said Aungst. “We are in a good position to seize the initiative and use technology to take us places we couldn’t before.”, He noted that when used correctly, technology could lead to improved patient care. When an employee is efficient, he turns out to be productive. “Pill identification apps could be a threat, but they could also be great in the grand scheme of things because it would free up that technician to have more time to dedicate to patient care responsibilities,” said Aungst. By customizing each individual's service, the pharmacy boosts its overall efficiency. Pharmacists rely heavily on technology to help them do tasks that are often complex. The discussion regarding the role of pharmacy technician and pharmacy support workforce roles is strongly influenced by the discussion on Pharmacists need to develop technologies how we want them to be.”, APhA sponsored Professional Liability Insurance. Any discrepancies, such as incorrect medications or broken pills, will result in an error report. © Copyright 2021, American Pharmacists Association All Rights Reserved. New systems are enabling pharmacies to provide better resources to their employees, which means customers can benefit from improved service. To some degree, pharmacists are interested in information technology because we can envision it increasing efficiency in our daily tasks and improving our access to vital information. Aungst noted that pharmacists need to jump in and take the reins in terms of clinical content when it comes to developing tools for patients and providers. “Imagine if the time comes when a pharmacist offers counseling on medications, and the patient says, “No need, I can just use my phone to look up the information’,” said Aungst. In addition to having walk-in clinics located in some of its pharmacies, Walgreens recently partnered with Theranos, a high-complexity laboratory that can perform lab tests quickly with just a few drops of blood. “Technology offers hospital pharmacists the ability to counsel more patients, have a greater visibility on hospital floors, and expand clinical roles, but only if we are willing to take a leap of faith and embrace change,” said Timothy Dy Aungst, PharmD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the School of Pharmacy at MCPHS Un… Student pharmacists and practicing pharmacists need to keep an eye out for opportunities where technologies can be incorporated into pharmacy practice. Advancement of technology … By customizing each individual's service, the pharmacy boosts its overall efficiency. program, pharmacists seeking an advanced position, such as a clinical pharmacy or research job, may need to complete a one- to two-year residency. Making use of new tech innovations is helping pharmacies compete in the commercial marketplace, but also allows them to improve the services they offer. Technology similar to the PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System), in use at hospitals provides digital images that make it easier for the tech and pharmacist to verify the prescription. Technology: Will it help or hurt the future of pharmacy practice? Number 3099067. Technology is helping pharmacists, physicians, and other health care professionals emerge from the functional "silos" that make it difficult for them to communicate with each other, according to Michele Vilaret, Director of Telecommunications Standards for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. “Could someone do the same for pharmacy?”, Today, there are many machines on the market capable of filling prescriptions and checking medications. “There is no question that these machines are replacing traditional technician and pharmacist roles.”. Pharmacists are accessible in all healthcare settings: inpatient, … Aungst pointed out that pharmacists do not develop many of today’s apps, websites, and programs. As innovations in life sciences and new technology disrupt the health care value chain, consumers are increasingly focused on well-being, demanding greater health care access, convenience, and customized products. The bar codes also make it easier to confirm that the right product has been delivered, stored, retrieved and dispensed to customers. Not all patients can or need medication therapy monitoring by pharmacists. AUSTIN, TX / ACCESSWIRE / January 6, 2021 / Austin-based clinical pharmacist Trupti Sarang recently shared her expert opinion on how lifestyle and technology affect our health in two articles with Thrive Global and TMC.net. When Walmart announced an initiative in March 2017 allowing patients to fill prescriptions via its mobile app and providing express pickup service for medications, the conversation around technology in pharmacies made headline news. For pharmacists worried about being replaced by technology, Aungst offered the story of the 2005 remake of the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. “Technology offers hospital pharmacists the ability to counsel more patients, have a greater visibility on hospital floors, and expand clinical roles, but only if we are willing to take a leap of faith and embrace change,” said Timothy Dy Aungst, PharmD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the School of Pharmacy at MCPHS University in Worcester, MA. Although this could eliminate a patient’s trip to the community pharmacist, a medication identification app could have a positive influence during the hospital admission medication reconciliation process. Over the past 40 years, information technology has had a major impact … Pharmacists are an integral part of the health care team, and are among the most trusted and accessible health care professionals. “I don’t think any taxi driver thought that they would eventually have competition like this, but there is because someone thought of something different,” Aungst explained. This accessibility allows them to perform more patient care activities, including counseling, medication management, and preventive care screenings. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that pharmacists receive a national median pay of $111,570 per year. As society’s use of technology continues to increase, and as technology becomes more accessible and sophisticated, digital health is here to stay. The result: pharmacists will use HIT to positively affect patient care, improve patient outcomes, and reduce the cost of care. For hospital pharmacists, technology has the potential to replace pharmacists in terms of dispensing roles, but it could also free up pharmacists to spend more time on the hospital floors so they can interact with patients and provide clinical information to physicians. For instance, some pharmacies have started offering apps that patients can download onto their smartphones, which let them know when it's time to take medications, when a prescription is running low, and can also let them send a refill request. A pharmacy is a business and, just like any other business, each pharmacy has competitors, which may be local, regional, or national. Registered in England & Wales with number 01835199, registered office 5 Howick Place, London, SW1P 1WG. “We as pharmacists need to step up to the plate and be involved in the development process and give our two cents,” said Aungst. According to the National Pharmacist Workforce Survey, in 2014, 60 percent of pharmacists provided medication therapy management and 53 percent performed immunizations. Faxed and emailed patient census data, neither of which are … They can help improve patient safety by potentially reducing medication errors. Get the latest pharmacy news in your inbox. A major concern throughout the healthcare community is the growing problem of drug addiction, especially as it relates to prescription opiates. One study identified 6.5 adverse events related to medication use per 100 inpatient admissions; more than one fourth of these events were due to errors and were therefore preventable.2 Among serious medication errors, about one third occur at the ordering stage of the medication process, another third occur during medication administration, and the rema… A phenomenal change is seen in the pharmacy industry where IT has boosted every sector. 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