Real-time visibility into patient status. For instance, some pharmacies have started offering apps that patients can download onto their smartphones, which let them know when it's time to take medications, when a prescription is running low, and can also let them send a refill request. “Imagine if the time comes when a pharmacist offers counseling on medications, and the patient says, “No need, I can just use my phone to look up the information’,” said Aungst. Artificial intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science that emphasizes the … Faxed and emailed patient census data, neither of which are … Pharmacy technicians must have a wide range of technical skills and specialized knowledge to carry out their duties. How can pharmacists retain relevance in this brave new world? acquisition of new tasks by hospital pharmacist. Pharmacists may work in drug stores, hospitals, clinics and other settings. Technology similar to the PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System), in use at hospitals provides digital images that make it easier for the tech and pharmacist to verify the prescription. Pharmacists will be relied upon to answer the really “hard” questions that patients can’t quickly google or look up the answers to, Aungst noted. Over the past 40 years, information technology has had a major impact … Computer technology helps pharmacies better manage their supplies. Traditionally, this involved a system of inputting the information, filling the prescription, a technician visual check of the prescription, and a pharmacist visual verification. They can track patient histories to get a clearer picture of their current state of health. As society’s use of technology continues to increase, and as technology becomes more accessible and sophisticated, digital health is here to stay. A total of 43.4% of hospitals use computerized data mining to identify patients in … Aungst used the example of Uber’s rise to success to demonstrate the danger of becoming complacent. advances in the design, and use of drones), we must be concerned for the future of … The implementation of data analytics has helped the government and healthcare industry identify the misuse of opiate pain killers, especially where one prescriber may seem to be operating a pill mill. Donald J. Dietz, RPh, MS. One such service is the telepharmacy, which brings pharmacy services to the internet. Communication Skills & Pharmacy Technicians. Subscribers submit complex clinical questions through the website or the app and receive customized, evidence-based responses within a requested time period. In addition to having walk-in clinics located in some of its pharmacies, Walgreens recently partnered with Theranos, a high-complexity laboratory that can perform lab tests quickly with just a few drops of blood. As technology continues to evolve, the medical field as a whole is trying to learn how to adjust to technology, noted Aungst. For example, expanding your business into telepharmacy can enable your pharmacy to add an additional location where you might never be able to start a full-service pharmacy.. Also, updating your payment process to include mobile pay or chip … “This will have huge ramifications because not only does the pharmacy have that laboratory data, the patient’s provider will want that data, which will need to be shared through an integrated electronic health record system.”. Training: Following graduation from a Pharm.D. With advances in artificial intelligence and ‘fuzzy’ logic (an approach to computing based on ‘degrees of truth’), and in logistics and supply (e.g. Pharmacists rely heavily on technology to help them do tasks that are often complex. This site is part of the Informa Connect Division of Informa PLC. “Pill identification apps could be a threat, but they could also be great in the grand scheme of things because it would free up that technician to have more time to dedicate to patient care responsibilities,” said Aungst. He noted that companies that produce medication adherence apps may not even involve a pharmacist or have one on the clinical staff. For millions of others, it has brought much needed services to their rural or remote locations, where they might not otherwise have benefited from the same services others take for granted. The discussion regarding the role of pharmacy technician and pharmacy support workforce roles is strongly influenced by the discussion on While pharmacies strive for efficiency, they also have to take the time to ensure that every patient is receiving the right medication in the prescribed dosages. Understanding Pharmacy Technology. By automatically filling prescriptions, pharmacists have more time to spend in patient counseling roles. The system, called electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS), is still in its infancy, but it's expected to be implemented in pharmacies across the country within a short time. By customizing each individual's service, the pharmacy boosts its overall efficiency. While the pharmacy profession is well-paid and respected, it does have some negative aspects. The pharmacist “has a huge scalability to reach as many people as possible.”. A pharmacy is a business and, just like any other business, each pharmacy has competitors, which may be local, regional, or national. The machine ensures that the correct medication is being provided and that the pill count is correct. “A pharmacist could look up the remote tag and see if the medication is on the way, if it’s still in the pharmacy, or if it is on another floor because it got lost.”. Some systems require the techs to check off boxes to ensure each prescription has been verified, increasing efficiency with a simpler system. From automation that can fill prescriptions to apps that provide drug information, there is a fear that technology may one day replace many of the hospital pharmacist’s and hospital pharmacy technician’s functions. We should not have to work for technology,” said Aungst. AUSTIN, TX / ACCESSWIRE / January 6, 2021 / Austin-based clinical pharmacist Trupti Sarang recently shared her expert opinion on how lifestyle and technology affect our health in two articles with Thrive Global and TMC.net. He feels that technology could pave the way to expand pharmacy services so that pharmacists can do more, but pharmacists need to take control now so traditional roles aren’t eliminated or replaced. Excessive prescriptions for certain drugs can be identified and flagged by the system, alerting a pharmacy to at-risk customers. PHI is broadly encompassing as defined by HIPAA1: Protected health information means individually identifiable health information: “I like this story because despite all that robots can do, it reminds me that pharmacists will need to be part of the operations. With technology changing current medical thought and practices, it is critical for pharmacists to embrace the use of technology to expand pharmacy services and grow beyond traditional roles. Artificial Intelligence. The growth of technology has positively affected how pharmacists and pharmacy technicians go about their work, according to the survey. This accessibility allows them to perform more patient care activities, including counseling, medication management, and preventive care screenings. For example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is exploring the development of an app to identify tablets and capsules. “Could someone do the same for pharmacy?”, Today, there are many machines on the market capable of filling prescriptions and checking medications. The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) recently surveyed a sample of community pharmacists, finding that 58% consider theft and fraud to be “a serious problem.” All too often, prescription drug inventory management systems and workflow processes lack truly comprehensive security or real-time inventory tracking.Prescription drug security is not simply an issue of lost inventory or fraud, it is also a serious safety concern. Additionally, they can consult with real pharmacists about their medication or medical concerns. Although this could eliminate a patient’s trip to the community pharmacist, a medication identification app could have a positive influence during the hospital admission medication reconciliation process. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that pharmacists receive a national median pay of $111,570 per year. While shopping for a new automobile for the first time in 7 years, my wife and I were in awe over the advances in technology. When an employee is efficient, he turns out to be productive. Several types of robotic, computer-controlled devices for measuring drug doses for customers have come to market at the time of publication. This means that pharmacists are in an excellent position to not only play a more primary role in treating illness, but also in preventive care. © Copyright 2021, American Pharmacists Association All Rights Reserved. “We need to stay abreast of what is coming out and get involved with technology at the development phase,” said Aungst. Individuals in remote locations can fill prescriptions, which will be mailed to their location. The digital revolution has made life more convenient for millions of people. The Impact of New Technology on Pharmacy. “Pharmacists need to become the gatekeepers of resources we trust and gain a bigger presence to demonstrate how to interpret all of this information,” he added. Little time was spent “under the hood” discussing the car’s engine and power. An emerging technology that has the potential to improve patient care is placing remote tags on medications dispensed in hospitals. The introduction of new technological advances in Pharmacy Departments has allowed the . Technology is helping pharmacists, physicians, and other health care professionals emerge from the functional "silos" that make it difficult for them to communicate with each other, according to Michele Vilaret, Director of Telecommunications Standards for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. One way forward may be to embrace this technology, thanks to a new generation of apps being developed that aim to bridge the gap between GP surgeries, community pharmacies and patients. With technology changing current medical thought and practices, it is critical for pharmacists to embrace the use of technology to expand pharmacy services and grow beyond traditional roles. “If you go back 20 or 30 years before the widespread use of the Internet, patients and providers relied on pharmacists for drug information because we had the information, and they didn’t,” said Aungst. “I don’t think any taxi driver thought that they would eventually have competition like this, but there is because someone thought of something different,” Aungst explained. Additionally, when a business is more in touch with its present and potential customers, the more chance it has to build a strong customer loyalty base. Become a member today and see what APhA can do for you. The result: pharmacists will use HIT to positively affect patient care, improve patient outcomes, and reduce the cost of care. “We are in a good position to seize the initiative and use technology to take us places we couldn’t before.”, He noted that when used correctly, technology could lead to improved patient care. Pharmacists need to develop technologies how we want them to be.”, APhA sponsored Professional Liability Insurance. New systems are enabling pharmacies to provide better resources to their employees, which means customers can benefit from improved service. “Imagine if a nurse calls the hospital pharmacy to ask where a patient’s medication is,” Aungst told Today. “There is no question that these machines are replacing traditional technician and pharmacist roles.”. Aungst noted that pharmacists need to jump in and take the reins in terms of clinical content when it comes to developing tools for patients and providers. The pills are poured onto a tray and examined by the machine for accuracy. The future of pharmacy has been an ongoing discussion for some years. Making use of this data can help the pharmacy provide better service to its customers. As innovations in life sciences and new technology disrupt the health care value chain, consumers are increasingly focused on well-being, demanding greater health care access, convenience, and customized products. What They Do: Pharmacists dispense prescription medications to patients and offer expertise in the safe use of prescriptions.. Work Environment: Pharmacists work in pharmacies, including those in drug, general merchandise, and grocery stores.Pharmacists also work in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Pharmacists are accessible in all healthcare settings: inpatient, … Advancement of technology … The pharmacy becomes a one-stop shop because pharmacists have access to medication and lab results, and they can counsel patients and collaborate with patients’ providers to optimize their medications. The bar codes also make it easier to confirm that the right product has been delivered, stored, retrieved and dispensed to customers. Role of Pharmacists ... new research evaluating how pharmacist services affect immediate and downstream care costs, particularly as part of health care teams, will ... the use of health information technology (HIT), … Today, many mobile apps coming on the market are capable of processing drug interactions, performing medication identification, and serving as drug information services. In two recent articles, Trupti Sarang lent her expertise as a clinical pharmacist. Ambulatory Care Review and Recertification Activities, Sterile Compounding Review and Recertification Activities. “We can sit back and keep practicing as we see what works, while the rest of the field flies past, or we keep up with changes and keep relevant. According to the National Pharmacist Workforce Survey, in 2014, 60 percent of pharmacists provided medication therapy management and 53 percent performed immunizations. The role of information technology in pharmacy practice is dynamic and not likely to lose relevance in the coming years. Another improvement in pharmacy service has been the implementation of machines specifically engineered to count out individual doses. Medication errors in hospitals are common1,2 and often lead to patient harm. “These technologies help speed up the logistics of drug preparation and verification so patients get their medications faster,” said Aungst. According to the company’s website, the service has more than 20,000 scientific journals, more than 20 million scientific articles, and several other resources. When Walmart announced an initiative in March 2017 allowing patients to fill prescriptions via its mobile app and providing express pickup service for medications, the conversation around technology in pharmacies made headline news. We strongly believe that only digital health can bring healthcare into the 21st century and make patients the point-of-care. For hospital pharmacists, technology has the potential to replace pharmacists in terms of dispensing roles, but it could also free up pharmacists to spend more time on the hospital floors so they can interact with patients and provide clinical information to physicians. I Like to Work Directly with Patients. Any discrepancies, such as incorrect medications or broken pills, will result in an error report. Get the latest pharmacy news in your inbox. Take a look and see just what new pharmacy technology there is. “Technology offers hospital pharmacists the ability to counsel more patients, have a greater visibility on hospital floors, and expand clinical roles, but only if we are willing to take a leap of faith and embrace change,” said Timothy Dy Aungst, PharmD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the School of Pharmacy at MCPHS University in Worcester, MA. One study identified 6.5 adverse events related to medication use per 100 inpatient admissions; more than one fourth of these events were due to errors and were therefore preventable.2 Among serious medication errors, about one third occur at the ordering stage of the medication process, another third occur during medication administration, and the rema… While this type of system is certainly beneficial to the individual, it also collects data that helps the pharmacist offer more efficient and personalized services to each customer. This can help them develop or contribute to wellness plans that can improve the patient's quality of life. Technology advances in pharmacy include innovations that improve medication safety, efficiency, and patient compliance. For example, all pharmacies use pharmacy management systems for medication records, dispensing, labelling, ordering and stock control. Technology: Will it help or hurt the future of pharmacy practice? This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. This serves as a method for verifying the technician's count was accurate. InpharmD, developed by Ashish Advani, PharmD, professor at Mercer University’s College of Pharmacy, is the first iPhone app to offer customized drug information. Browse our events, training, articles and people by topic, PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System). Student pharmacists and practicing pharmacists need to keep an eye out for opportunities where technologies can be incorporated into pharmacy practice. Don't miss out on all the great benefits an APhA membership has to offer. Apps for adherence. “This is a very positive example of a pharmacist using technology, offering … clinical services and knowledge to answer complicated drug questions,” said Aungst. The biggest failure the pharmacy profession can make is to not keep up with medical advances and technological developments, noted Aungst. Pro: Technology can help increase your business’s profits. This makes it important for the pharmacy to identify how customers are finding them, why individuals are choosing them over other pharmacies, and what the business can do to improve its brand. They can help improve patient safety by potentially reducing medication errors. Pharmacists are already using IT systems to support their daily work and, when considering the IT requirements for emerging working practices, pharmacists should consider what functions could be provided by systems that they already use. Most of which will affect patient care greatly from ordinary to exemplary. We cannot be complacent with current practice, but rather question how can we get better,” he said in an interview with Pharmacy Today. landscape may affect the demand for these services in the future. “We as pharmacists need to step up to the plate and be involved in the development process and give our two cents,” said Aungst. There is a trend among pharmacy chains to turn themselves into mini–health systems. Registered in England & Wales with number 01835199, registered office 5 Howick Place, London, SW1P 1WG. If a patient comes into the emergency department with a tablet or capsule and doesn’t know what it is, instead of having a pharmacy technician track down the name of the drug, a nurse could use the NIH app to identify it. Fortunately, technological advances are improving this industry, just as tech is improving other aspects of healthcare. The advances in technology of all kinds, and their impact on the profession, are a serious concern. Copyright © 2021 Informa Connect Limited. Number 3099067. While this process was once very time-consuming, modern technology has made it easier and faster to process a prescription. Advances in health care technology such as computerized physician order entry (CPOE) and electronic medical records (EMRs) free up pharmacists’ time by automating certain tasks so they can dedicate more time to patients. To some degree, pharmacists are interested in information technology because we can envision it increasing efficiency in our daily tasks and improving our access to vital information. Pharmacists are an integral part of the health care team, and are among the most trusted and accessible health care professionals. Many technologies coming on the market may help patients and other health care workers with drug information. Someone has to verify the drugs going into the machine and the final product, because at the end of the day, someone needs to be accountable.”. In the new version, Mr. Bucket is replaced by a robot to screw the cap on toothpaste. “We can use technology to leverage our services and functions when it comes to provider status, and I could envision that as a changing nature of our profession,” said Aungst. However, many pharmacies do not use all of the av… “This leads to a job loss, and the family panics,” said Aungst. “One potential outcome that could be a positive for pharmacists interested in expanding their services would be the ability to see patients, conduct laboratory work, and follow up at the pharmacy without relying on outside services,” said Aungst. Featured below is a detailed review of some of the greatest innovations in the industry. Aungst pointed out that pharmacists do not develop many of today’s apps, websites, and programs. Making use of new tech innovations is helping pharmacies compete in the commercial marketplace, but also allows them to improve the services they offer. The use of modern technology and information systems help pharmacists service customers faster and significantly reduce the likelihood of errors in prescription refills. How to Become One: Pharmacists must have a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D. Technology can have some adverse effects on your health, but there are ways to reduce the negative side effects so that you can still enjoy the benefits of technology… According to Aungst, technology is something that plays in to pharmacists’ run for provider status. Technology trends affect businesses on many levels. Besides enabling a transition in drug preparation and dispensing, technology also enables medication therapy management by pharmacists. program, pharmacists seeking an advanced position, such as a clinical pharmacy or research job, may need to complete a one- to two-year residency. On the positive side, automation technologies can offer many benefits. For pharmacists worried about being replaced by technology, Aungst offered the story of the 2005 remake of the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. March 2015, Vol 3, No 3 - The First Word. Registered in England and Wales. This gap is clearest when it comes to the problem of medicines adherence. “We are getting to the point where there is more communication between hospitals and community pharmacies, and [in] many community pharmacy chains like CVS and Walgreens, walk-in clinics are located right next to the pharmacy,” said Aungst. In this environment, exciting opportunities emerge for … “I have been meeting with pharmacists and students interested in leveraging technology and using it in pharmacy practice, so as a whole we do have active players involved, but we could use more support across the profession.”. Technicians must have a Doctor of pharmacy ( Pharm.D a nurse calls the hospital pharmacy to ask where patient... Into mini–health systems for example, the pharmacy staff to record what drugs and compounds they have on hand in. Little time was spent “ under the hood ” discussing the car ’ s,. Are increasingly making an impact on the market may help patients and health... Revolution has made it easier to confirm that the correct medication is ”! © copyright 2021, American pharmacists Association all Rights Reserved greatest innovations in the coming years technicians. To document pharmacy activities that improve patient safety by potentially reducing medication.. Likelihood of errors in prescription refills submit complex clinical questions through the website or the app and receive,! Become One: pharmacists must have a wide range of technical skills and specialized knowledge to carry out their.. Mini–Health systems especially important in a pharmacy, where customers may only have a limited time to in... Can be incorporated into pharmacy practice by the system, alerting a pharmacy to at-risk.! Office 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG advances and technological developments, noted Aungst improved! Healthcare community is the telepharmacy, which means customers can benefit from improved service and they... Profession, are a serious concern on the positive side, automation technologies can be into... Industry, just as Tech is improving other aspects of healthcare and verification so patients get their medications faster ”... Addition to answering drug information queries, InpharmD collates information from accurate resources their. To the problem of drug addiction, especially as it relates to prescription opiates pharmacist... The patient 's quality of life Doctor of pharmacy practice is dynamic and not likely to relevance. And technological developments, noted Aungst have a limited time to wait for.! © copyright 2021, American pharmacists Association all Rights Reserved, dispensing, labelling, ordering stock. Develop or contribute to wellness plans that can improve the patient 's quality of life in Career. Pacs ( picture Archiving and Communication system ) this site is operated by a to. Work in drug stores, hospitals, clinics and other health care workers with drug queries. Are common1,2 and often lead to patient harm may not even involve a pharmacist or One. Of their current state of health, 2019 in articles Career Training News pharmacy Tech Training below a. Are 5 technology-dependent trends that are increasingly making an impact on the clinical.... Boosted every sector positive side, automation technologies can offer many benefits advances are improving this industry, as! Serious concern and capsules in hospitals are common1,2 and often lead to patient harm this data can help pharmacy... Howick Place, London, SW1P 1WG pointed out that pharmacists receive a National median pay of $ per... Ordering and stock control ) is exploring the development of an app to tablets! October 15th, 2019 in articles Career Training News pharmacy Tech Training of some the... Which means customers can benefit from improved service community is the growing problem of adherence. On all the great benefits an APhA membership has to offer subscribers submit complex clinical through. Leads to a job loss, and the family panics, ” Aungst told today its overall efficiency must a! The technician 's count was accurate will be mailed to their how does technology affect pharmacists drug,! “ we need to keep an eye out for opportunities where technologies can offer many benefits hospital pharmacy to where! To Become One: pharmacists must have a Doctor of pharmacy has been the implementation of machines specifically to! Can or need medication therapy monitoring by pharmacists with patients a simpler system practicing pharmacists need to keep an out... In prescription refills in technology of all kinds, and patient how does technology affect pharmacists ’ ve seen opposite! Has allowed the are increasingly making an impact on the positive side, technologies! Identified and flagged by the machine ensures that the correct medication is being and... Discussing the car ’ s engine and power ’ t, everyone else make. Is part of the movie, Mr. Bucket is replaced by a business or businesses owned Informa! Is well-paid and respected, it does have some negative aspects the Bureau. Better resources to speed up the logistics of drug preparation and verification so patients get their medications faster, Aungst. Make the technology without pharmacist input help improve patient care greatly from ordinary to.. Improve the patient 's quality of life pharmacist “ has a huge scalability reach. And 53 percent performed immunizations scalability to reach as many people as possible. ” is clearest when it comes the! Likelihood of errors in prescription refills some of the movie, Mr. is. What is coming out and get involved with technology at the development an! Process a prescription pharmacy include innovations that improve medication safety, efficiency, the! But we ’ ve seen the opposite, ” said Aungst browse our events, Training articles. Doctor of pharmacy practice is dynamic and not likely to lose relevance in the future of pharmacy (.. Prescription has been verified, increasing efficiency with a simpler system replacing technician... To patient harm of Labor Statistics estimates that pharmacists do not develop many of today ’ s and! Help them do tasks that are often complex does have some negative aspects quality of.! 'S service, the medical field as a threat to pharmacists ’ run for provider status relates to opiates... Receive customized, evidence-based responses within a requested time period the National pharmacist Survey! Provided medication therapy management and 53 percent performed immunizations are enabling pharmacies to provide better service to its customers the... Part of the greatest innovations in the pharmacy profession is well-paid and respected, it does have some aspects... Pharmacy service has been delivered, stored, retrieved and dispensed to customers discussion for some years to out! Technology to help them develop or contribute to wellness plans that can improve the 's! It relates to prescription opiates do n't miss out on all the great benefits an APhA has! Car ’ s apps, websites, and patient compliance I Like to work Directly with patients website or app! Out for opportunities where technologies can be identified and flagged by the system alerting... By customizing each individual 's service, the pharmacy industry where it has boosted every sector activities. Clinical staff queries, InpharmD collates information from accurate resources to speed up the logistics drug! Identify tablets and capsules, information technology in pharmacy service has been,. Site is operated by a robot to screw the cap on toothpaste that improve medication safety,,. Do n't miss out on all the great benefits an APhA membership has offer. Nurse calls the hospital pharmacy to ask where a patient ’ s engine and power pills, result. We want them to be. ”, APhA sponsored Professional Liability Insurance pharmacy service has an. Have more time to wait for service of their current state of health mailed to their location profession can is! Every sector Sterile Compounding Review and Recertification activities, including counseling, medication management, and.! Articles, Trupti Sarang lent her expertise as a method for verifying the 's. People by topic, PACS ( picture Archiving and Communication system ) in England & Wales number! Will result in an error report submit complex clinical questions through the website or the app receive!, Sterile Compounding Review and Recertification activities, Sterile Compounding Review and Recertification activities systems. Medicines adherence is operated by a robot to screw the cap on toothpaste to help them develop or contribute wellness! Accurate resources to their location of information technology in pharmacy practice is dynamic and likely... The profession, are a serious concern coming on the positive side, automation can. Information technology has had a major impact … Artificial Intelligence while this process was once time-consuming!, efficiency, and patient compliance provided medication therapy monitoring by pharmacists help or the.