PHARMACY

Bartell Drugs introduces PharmaSmart kiosks

BY Alaric DeArment

SEATTLE — Bartell Drugs has introduced PharmaSmart blood-pressure testing kiosks at all 58 of its stores, the regional retail pharmacy chain said Monday.

Bartell said it was the first drug store chain in the Pacific Northwest to provide the new kiosks, made by Rochester, N.Y.-based PharmaSmart International.

"In this era of personalized medicine, the role of the pharmacist continues to expand as a healthcare provider," Bartell pharmacy professional services manager Billy Chow said. "The PharmaSmart kiosk technology is a valuable new frontline tool for blood-pressure prevention and management."

According to PharmaSmart, the company’s connectivity network has collected and stored more than 16 million patient readings to date in its Blood Pressure Tracker repository. The software allows pharmacists at Bartells to conduct timely reviews with patients who may have hypertension or be at risk of it.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hypertension was listed as a primary or contributing cause of death for about 348,000 Americans in 2008, and an estimated 1-in-3 American adults have the condition. Meanwhile, of the 68 million Americans with hypertension, 1-in-5 don’t know they have it, and 36 million don’t have their blood pressure under control.

 

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PHARMACY

Walgreens Infusion Services saves $850,000 in three-month period

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Home nutrition support team interventions improved patient care and potentially prevented an estimated 429 hospital days over a three-month period, at a cost savings of more than $850,000, according to new data presented by Walgreens Infusion Services at the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition Clinical Nutrition Week meeting Monday in Phoenix. 

“Dietitians are experts in nutrition support and play a vital role in home-delivered care,” stated Noreen Luszcz, Walgreens Infusion Services nutrition program director. “Our home nutrition support teams work together to proactively monitor patients’ therapy and provide regular updates to the patient’s physician. We invest in having dietitians as part of our teams because they play a vital role in providing appropriate, safe, cost-effective home nutrition support.”

The study included data from 16 Walgreens Infusion Services offices, with 2,500 enteral nutrition patients (who received their nutrition needs through a feeding tube) and 270 parenteral nutrition patients (who received their nutrition intravenously) on service during the study period. Interventions were performed by the Walgreens Infusion Services home nutrition support team, which includes nurses, pharmacists and dietitians who work closely with physicians to provide care to PN and EN patients. 

This patient-centric multidisciplinary approach to care enabled the teams to quickly identify therapy complications and intervene to address them with the guidance of the physicians, Walgreens noted. There were 373 total interventions completed during the three-month study, including correcting over/underfeeding, preventing dehydration, reducing/eliminating diarrhea, managing hyperglycemia, managing electrolyte imbalances, transitioning patients from PN to oral eating, and starting patients on PN therapy in the home instead of in the hospital.

Patients are typically prescribed PN or EN because they cannot absorb an adequate amount of nutrients due to a health condition like cancer, a stroke or surgical complications. While both therapies can be administered in the hospital, about 40,000 PN patients and 344,000 EN patients each year receive their nutrition therapy at home, where they are more comfortable and can avoid the risk of exposure to hospital-acquired infections.


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Fast Company places Walgreens on its ‘Top 10’ list of most innovative healthcare companies

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Progressive business media brand Fast Company on Monday named Walgreens as one of its top 10 healthcare companies for 2013 "for redefining the role of the pharmacy."

Fast Co. pointed to Walgreens’ omnichannel presence as one key differentiator. "The company bet on a more refined approach to patient care, which yielded new mobile app features that help patients manage their medications, such as Pill Reminder, and a web tool called Find Your Pharmacist, which lists local pharmacists by their expertise," noted the Fast Company editorial team. "Those efforts, combined with partnerships with the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services to expand in-store HIV testing, created a new standard for the patient-pharmacy relationship."

Check out the coverage here. 


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