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Technology Update column for Drug Topics issue of Sept. 13, 2004.
Fifty percent of independent pharmacies are able to electronically connect with physicians through SureScripts Messenger Services. The Alexandria, Va., e-prescribing connectivity firm has recently certified solutions offered by several pharmacy system vendors serving independents, including Etreby Co., HealthCare Computer Corp., McKesson Corp., and QS/1 Data Systems. Another 13 vendors are undergoing SureScripts precertification testing provided by NDCHealth.
General Data Corp. has launched Personal Patient Identification Wristbands with a twist on the usual bar code. The new version includes a mug shot of the patient as an added level of safety. The wristbands are made of latex-free material with a snap closure and meet or exceed the patient ID guidelines of the American Hospital Association, HIPAA, and JCAHO. The bands can be integrated into existing hospital information systems or lab info systems for on-demand printing. For more information, go to www.general-data.com/personalID or phone 1-(800) 733-5252, ext. 2700.
PrairieStone Pharmacy, a new chain of 20 small pharmacies in the Twin Cities' supermarkets, is using AutoMed's FastFind Universal storage system. The unit's vertical drug carousels stacked 14 feet high leave a small footprint in cramped pharmacy departments. The carousels can store the entire formulary of a 1,000-script-per-day pharmacy in just 60 sq. ft., according to the firm, which is the automation division of AmerisourceBergen. For more on this system, check out www.automed.com or phone 1-(888) 537-3102.
NCPDP announced that totals for its HCIdea National Database of Prescribers have topped the one million record threshold. The council also successfully exchanged data with its licensed data suppliers. HCIdea was created to develop a database of prescribers for the pharmacy benefit industry to replace the DEA prescriber number.
CVS has hired Perot Systems Corp. to assume management of the Rhode Island-based chain's data center services. The 60 CVS techies currently running the center in Woonsocket will be offered full-time employment with Perot. The center based at CVS headquarters will also become Perot's Northeast technology hub, serving several other Perot healthcare customers. Both companies were mum about the terms of the multiyear deal.
Philips, TAGSYS, and Texas Instruments have released a white paper comparing high-frequency (HF) and ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) radio frequency identification technologies for tagging pharmaceuticals at the item level. Despite industry momentum for adoption of RFID, the issue of which radio frequency is best remains unanswered. To download a copy of "Item-Level Management in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain: A Comparison of HF and UHF RFID Technologies," log on to www.semiconductors.philips.com, www.tagsys.net, or www.ti-rfid.com.
PEPID has updated information on terrorist emergencies and nuclear, biological, and chemical attacks for Palm and Windows CE handhelds and desktop computers. The Chicago technology firm's individual software suites cover how to determine exposure, manage patients, as well as decontamination, treatment, and pharmacological protocols. All the suites include the Portable Drug Companion reference of more than 5,000 Rx and OTC drugs. For more information and a free trial, go to www.pepid.com.
Carol Ukens. Technology Update: Half of prescribers able to use e-prescribing. Drug Topics Sep. 13, 2004;148:58.