Sen. Clinton calls for uniform e-Rx standard

September 18, 2006

As more and more companies develop systems for electronic prescription systems, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, N.Y.) recently called for national legislation to develop a uniform national e-prescription standard. The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association applauded the effort, noting that the standard is long overdue.

As more and more companies develop systems for electronic prescription systems, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, N.Y.) recently called for national legislation to develop a uniform national e-prescription standard. The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association applauded the effort, noting that the standard is long overdue.

Still, security remains a concern for e-Rx systems. Georgetown University recently halted its system with InstantDx when a security breach exposed between 5,600 and 23,000 patient records. The breach included names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers.

Kaiser Permanente will begin to use Rex The Talking Prescription Bottle in 140 Northern California pharmacies and healthcare facilities. Pharmacists can record medication-specific messages for bottles using a system developed by Wizzard Software to ensure that elderly and disabled patients understand dosage instructions and other critical information. Patients simply push a button on the side of the bottle to hear the recording. The Rex system is compliant with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Warnings added to mobile guide

Epocrates announced that it has added a new safety and monitoring section to its mobile drug reference guide as well as prominently displaying FDA black box warning information throughout the application. The new section has been designed to provide new safety information as well as improve access to existing content. Epocrates offers both a free on-line drug reference guide as well as a mobile guide designed for both Palm and Pocket PC PDA devices. For more information, visit Epocrates on-line at http://epocrates.com/.

Access to IVR expands

Independent pharmacies no longer need to look on with envy at the automated voice-activated prescription refilling systems used by the larger chains. The Envox interactive voice response (IVR) system for prescriptions has been implemented by The Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati and also integrated into the VIP Pharmacy Management system from Datahouse Technology. The IVR application allows pharmacies to provide 24/7 prescription-refill services. Patients can use the system to request refills, and the system computes a pickup time based on parameters set by the pharmacy. Prescriptions that require authorization are automatically faxed to the patient's physicians for approval. Go to http://www.envox.com/ and http://www.vip-pharmacy.com/ for more information.

A robot at Good Samaritan

Lebanon, Pa.-based Good Samaritan Health System is implementing PillPick, a robotic automated drug management system. PillPick, developed by Swisslog, automates packaging, storage, and dispensing of tablets, capsules, ampoules, injectables, cups, and syringes. Once bulk medications are packaged in unit doses with individual bar codes, they are stored in a high-density pharmacy robot that can hold more than 26,000 unit doses. When the medications are ready for dispensing, unit doses are pulled from the robot in a unit that assembles patient-specific orders with a bar code to ensure that correct medications are given to the appropriate patient. To find out more about PillPick, visit http://www.swisslog.com/

Compounding labels

RS Software, the creator of Compound Assist software, has developed Script Assist to produce labels for compound medications. The labels comply with all the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists guidelines, which are intended to provide consistent and complete information about the nature of compound medications. For more information, go to http://www.rssoftware.net/.