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    Pharmacy Technology: Disruption or Improvement?

    Is new technology actually making pharmacy any better (or easier)?


    Granting Pharmacists More Responsibility

    If not all technology or business model change is disruptive, then what is? “If you want disruption in pharmacy, then you need team-based care; outcomes-based reimbursement; and electronic sharing of data, such as adverse drug events, via an EHR,” said Tom Bizzaro, Vice President for Health Policy and Industry Relations at First Databank.

    “Primary care is finally realizing the value of integration with pharmacy,” he said. Pharmacists adopted e-prescribing much more quickly than prescribers, he noted, but now the two groups work more closely together and acknowledge the advantages of the technology. 

    Related article: How a New Technology Can Keep Pharmacists in the Front Lines

    Providers’ perception of relying on pharmacists has improved because of pharmacists’ greater accessibility to the public and their ability to enhance adherence through medication therapy management, Bizzaro said. “Technology and automation have enabled pharmacists to come out from behind the counter and assume a larger role. Five years from now, pharmacists should not be counting out pills or labeling bottles; technology can do it.”

    They should instead spend time reinforcing positive outcomes and counseling patients, Bizzaro said. “But if they are going to accept these responsibilities, pharmacists need the opportunity and means.” 

    Mari Edlin
    Mari Edlin is a freelance writer based in Sonoma, California.


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    • Anonymous
      I don’t know what ivory tower these contributors live in, but doesn’t work so well in the trenches. Many times the prescibers choose a strength or dosage form that is unavailable commercially or no longer manufactured. Incomplete SIG’s is also a common problem or SIG says one thing and notes section says something else....grrrr. This causes delays in getting meds into patients’ hands....should be able to return to sender with clarification questions. Too much time still spent on faxing and phone calls and waiting for response from prescribers. Sometimes the old way of doing things is not so bad!
    • Anonymous
      I’m sorry, but I couldn’t even make it past “prescribers have mastered electronic prescribing” without choking on my lunch. It’s my day off, that’s how I get to have lunch.
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