Anthony Vecchione
Anthony Vecchione is Executive Editor of Drug Topics.
Electronic integration improves med delivery
The notion of a fully integrated electronic healthcare record across the entire health system is no longer pie-in-the-sky thinking. In reality, however, few hospitals have attained that level of technology penetration. But for those that have, the benefits are immense.
Oncology pharmacists come into their own
There was a time when the diagnosis of cancer was ominous, but not anymore. Cancer has evolved into a chronic disease, with 95% of cancer patients treated in outpatient settings. Novel drug therapies and advances in radiation treatment have made many cancers survivable. That's good news for patients, and so is the fact that pharmacists are playing a more pivotal role in managing not only the clinical but also financial aspects of patient care.
Eight steps to reaching high performance
Like it or not, health-system pharmacies are under tremendous pressure to perform at a high level. Addressing patient safety concerns, improving outcomes, implementing state-of-the-art technology, and keeping drug costs down requires a juggling act that pharmacists must perform on a daily basis.
R.Ph. shooting spotlights workplace violence
When Michelle Rutledge, Pharm.D., heard about the fatal shooting of a hospital pharmacist at Shands Jacksonville hospital in Florida last November, it really hit home. The victim, 37-year-old Shannon McCants, was a fellow graduate of the Florida A&M College of Pharmacy. McCants was shot by a customer who was waiting for a prescription to be filled in the outpatient pharmacy. Rutledge, an associate investigator at the James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa, said that e-mails from former student-colleagues began pouring in.
Clopidogrel plays pivotal role in stent controversy
A clinical alert issued by the professional society that represents interventional cardiologists is urging doctors not to recommend drug-eluting coronary stents [DES] to patients who are unable to take two antithrombotic agents (clopidogrel and aspirin) for at least three to six months, and preferably for one year. The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) is advising invasive and interventional cardiologists to take practical steps for reducing the risk of late stent thrombosis, a rare, but potentially fatal occurrence.
ASHP midyear meeting showcases new gadgets
At the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting in December, technology vendors from the largest system integrators to mom-and-pop software startups hawked their products and services. Bedside bar-coding, medication management tools, and smart pumps were among the dominant product categories displayed.
Standardizing IV practices can reduce patient harm
With what may turn out to be a nationwide model, hospitals in San Diego have joined forces in an effort to reduce the number of adverse drug events (ADEs) associated with intravenous medication administration.
ASHP: Tech programs should meet standards
For too long now, many technicians have been trained in programs that just don't meet quality standards. Pharmacists know about this, but many people outside the profession don't. At its midyear meeting in Anaheim, Calif., Henri Manasse, executive VP and CEO of ASHP, made known his intention to expose this "dirty little secret" to state legislators and the public.
Immigrants fueling demand for interpreters
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, every 31 seconds a limited-English speaker enters the United States. For the approximately 48 million residents who speak a language other than English at home, that language barrier looms large when they visit an emergency room or are admitted to a hospital.
Outdated rules hamper proper Rx waste disposal
Disposing of hazardous pharmaceutical waste is nothing new for hospitals. However, the task has become more challenging in recent years due in part to a greater variety of toxic drugs that are being discarded.

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