Wednesday, February 08, 2017

This Is An Interesting Look Into The Digital Health Future From The Perspective Of Pharmacy.

This appeared last week:

What’s Trending: Technology in Pharmacy

After another busy year in pharmacy, now is a good opportunity to pause and reflect on some of the macro technology trends that are driving change in the industry

New Internet developments have been transforming the pharmacy experience from the 1990s on, when the Internet first hit our shores. This year will be no exception, with the Internet continuing to deliver new services in the form of cloud computing.
In 2017, pharmacy will see three trends become increasingly visible, relating particularly to medications reconciliation and business agility as well as the move towards the purchase of pharmacy software services rather than expenditure on capital items.

Medications management apps: improving your clinical data

The most significant trend in community pharmacy technology in 2017 will be the provision of apps that improve medications management in clinical practice in Australia, making it faster and easier, with greater accuracy and coordination of data. Medication reconciliation in particular is one of the key services that will be strengthened as a result.
Industry has been calling for this ability for decades, and the ramifications will be huge. Pharmacists will have greater access to patient medication information than ever before, and as a result will be in a stronger position when conducting medication reviews and compliance checks.
There are many scenarios where this will be useful, for example, reducing possible confusion as patients transition between different points of care, or when a GP has de-prescribed one drug, and another practitioner has re-prescribed this without knowing the background. The ability to provide practitioners and patients with a complete list of their current medications, and with records of all medication reconciliations completed, will be a significant step forward.
This change is occurring as a result of two related developments. The first is the continuing investment by the federal government in the My Health Record. This should deepen the pool of patient medication data available to health professionals, which provides an ever more accurate diagnostic picture for professionals.
The second is the launch of complementary apps which bring together a patient’s medication data from multiple sources, such as GPs, hospitals, pharmacy and the My Health Record. Fred’s new medications list will be the first cab off the rank here with the launch of our new web-based app MedView early this year. MedView evolved out of the early MedView trials in the Barwon Region of Victoria in 2012 which tackled the lack of visibility of clinical data between different sectors.
As a result, you will be able to view a single consolidated medication list for patients from within your dispensing software. Because these are web-based apps, you will have the same clinical diagnostic ability in-store and on patient visits, whether these are in the home or in a hospital or aged care setting.
The macro technology trend here is about data. The nature of the cloud means that we can use data to deliver new services and solve age-old problems faced by health professionals, with the obvious caveats regarding patient consent and compliance with privacy requirements. This ability to use the cloud to deliver new data-based services is where the most significant opportunities for innovation in pharmacy and health will occur. Significantly, the results of services can also be added back to the patient’s MyHR.
Thanks to pharmacy’s successful adoption of electronic transfer of prescriptions over the past seven years, the amount of data available is growing exponentially, with community pharmacies and GPs contributing 4,000-6,000 new data records per second around Australia – not a number to be sneezed at.
Numbers will continue to soar as hospitals around Australia begin to transition to electronic transfer of prescriptions. Victoria’s Royal Children’s Hospital was the first to integrate with eRx and they are now sending all discharge prescriptions to eRx to make them available to community pharmacies across their large catchment. More hospitals are following this lead.
Further technology changes are discussed here:
In the context of the ADHA work on Medication Safety I found it interesting to read the perspective from Pharmacy on the myHR and the progress that has been made with consumer apps.
Well worth a browse.
David.

2 comments:

john scott said...

David, I agree that the article and strategic direction for pharmacy is well worth consideration.

I do however have serious concerns about the absence of any comments by pharmacists about the issues of: meaningfulness, accuracy and trustworthiness of the underlying clinical data.

They, by and large, do not carry the same consequences as doctors; consequences in regard to taking action on deficient or downright wrong data in the mistaken belief that the source or sources could be relied upon.

In my opinion, the silence of professional pharmacists in this regard bodes ill for their professional reputation.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why the article's author is not identified. It is quite well written. The repeated references to FRED makes it more of an ADVERTORIAL to encourage users to move to the cloud. John Scott referred to the "silence of professional pharmacists", which might not be so if the article was written by one of Fred's pharmacists.