PHARMACY

PDX promotes Todd Crosslin to chief information officer

BY Michael Johnsen

FORT WORTH, Texas — PDX on Monday promoted Todd Crosslin to chief information officer from his positon of SVP software development. 
 
“Throughout his career, Todd has shown to be a good mentor for those who work under him and has worked with the entire leadership team to help promote accountability and to show that accountability works both ways," stated Brad Crosslin, PDX president. "He has even successfully promoted his accountability approach to our customers. With his continued achievements within each department he has worked in, we are excited to see Todd bring his ideas, insight and positive attitude to this new role at PDX.” 
 
Crosslin has been with the company since 1995 and has cumulated experience working in multiple departments, such as consulting and design, and taken on various roles, such as leading the Kaiser effort and other development teams.
 
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WebMD designs medication alert function for its Apple Watch app

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — When the Apple Watch hits retailers on April 24, WebMD will feature an innovative new medication reminder function built into its app that's designed specifically for the Apple Watch, WebMD announced Monday. WebMD's Apple Watch app will enable consumers to view daily medication schedules and instructions, as well as pill images with dosage and timing information, plus receive reminders when it's time to take a given medication – all on their Apple Watch.
 
"One of the most significant barriers to achieving positive patient outcomes is the issue of medication non-compliance, which remains a largely unsolved problem today," stated WebMD president Steven Zatz. "We believe that the combination of WebMD's Medication Reminder on Apple Watch represents a powerful new approach to address the issue of non-compliance in a way never before possible."
 
"The Apple Watch is an immensely personal device that provides WebMD with an unprecedented opportunity to influence patient compliance," said Benjamin Greenberg, VP product management and user experience at WebMD. "Additionally, the Watch's Long-Look notifications enable WebMD to display medication and dosage information more directly and discreetly than on any other platform, keeping the user's experience simple while helping to protect the privacy of their sensitive health information."
 
When users open the WebMD Apple Watch app, they'll see their daily medication schedule and information about whether or not they've taken a required dose. They will also be able to read medication instructions, such as whether to take a pill with food, and access additional in-depth information on their iPhone via Handoff.
 
Each "Medication Reminder" notification includes customizable pill images, as well as dosage and timing information. When users are prompted to take a given medication, they are asked to log one of four possible actions:
 
  • Take the medication;
  • Skip the medication;
  • Snooze; or
  • Dismiss the reminder.
 
When a user chooses "Snooze," they will be reminded to take the medication again after 15 minutes. If a user chooses to "Dismiss" a given reminder, they will receive an alert at the time of the next scheduled dose.  
 
WebMD's "Glance" delivers an entirely new way for users to receive information about their medication regimen. The Glance lets users know what time to take their next scheduled dose (e.g. 12:00 p.m.), or if that user is scheduled to take a dose within two hours or less, they will receive a message (e.g. "Next dose in 59 minutes") instead of the time.  If the time for the last scheduled dose of the day has passed, the Glance is updated to show whether the final dose was "Taken," "Missed" or "Skipped." 
 
WebMD's enhanced app with Medication Reminders will be available for download in the Apple Watch App Store beginning April 24. Consumers can get the WebMD App for iPhone now as a free download from the App Store.
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Surescripts’ e-prescribing technology expands to long-term, post-acute care market

BY Antoinette Alexander

ARLINGTON, Va. — Surescripts has expanded its nationwide health information network to include PointClickCare, a cloud-based software platform for the senior care market, to provide the more than 10,000 senior care facilities using PointClickCare access to electronic prescribing technology to fill gaps in care and reduce costs when patients move from one facility to another.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population aged 65 and older is projected to double by 2050. Currently, there are more than 2.5 million beds across skilled nursing and assisted living facilities — a number that will continue to rise dramatically as the population ages.

Exchanging prescription information electronically between prescribers and pharmacies improves accuracy and saves time, from reduced phone calls and faxes related to prescription renewal authorizations, as well as a reduced need for staff to enter prescription data manually. Connecting to the Surescripts network will also help PointClickCare users meet government-mandated transitions of care requirements, while allowing flexibility in choice of pharmacies and reducing the need for direct connections with pharmacies.

“A seamless, connected healthcare experience is an increasing expectation for patients and providers,” stated Tom Skelton, CEO, Surescripts. “Now that e-prescribing is nearly ubiquitous in hospitals and doctor’s offices, we see a huge opportunity to expand connectivity to ensure the long-term and post-acute care market also benefits from healthcare interoperability.”

Today, electronic prescribing is utilized by 95% of pharmacies and 7-out-of-10 office-based physicians. But the long-term care market lags behind the rest of healthcare in terms of technology adoption, with just 3% of prescriptions transmitted electronically. In November 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services lifted its electronic prescribing exemption for long-term care facilities, and now requires that they adhere to the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs SCRIPT standard for electronic prescribing.

Electronic prescribing reduces costs associated with medication non-adherence by helping ensure patients receive needed medication therapies. A 2012 study found that electronic prescribing increases first-fill medication adherence by 10% with the potential to save $140 billion to $240 billion over 10 years. Poor adherence to medication therapy is a significant and costly problem facing the U.S. healthcare system. According to the World Health Organization, 50% of patients do not adhere fully to their medication treatment, leading to 125,000 premature deaths and billions in preventable health care costs each year. Medication non-adherence also results in patient safety issues that cost the healthcare system an estimated $290 billion annually in the form of increased hospitalizations and costly complications, according to the New England Healthcare Institute.
 

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