PHARMACY

Smart devices and the empowered patient

BY Jim Frederick

These are the days of the empowered patient — the patient who asks questions; who wants to know about how to prevent the diseases that ailed their parents or how to live more successfully with the conditions they have; and who seeks and finds health information from doctors, nurses, magazines and most especially from the teeming trove of online health sites.

Cultural and generational shifts are one reason for the change in attitude, from quiet and nonquestioning acquiescence to health activism and self-care. Today’s patients — including my own boomer generation that has always questioned everything we’ve confronted at every stage of life — aren’t willing to just submit to whatever directives or pronouncements come from their doctors and go quietly through the medical maze. They want answers.

But another factor behind patients’ growing sense of empowerment is simply the explosion in instantly accessible information now available to patients and consumers through such mobile devices as smartphones and tablets. A new survey of AccentHealth viewers found that more than half of consumers — 57%, to be exact — use their smart devices to make at least some purchasing decisions at the store shelf.

That’s according to a report from Drug Store News senior editor Michael Johnsen. What’s more, nearly half of those surveyed who don’t yet use retail apps to check a product’s price or availability told researchers they “would be likely to download an app in the future,” according to the report.

Why does this matter that much to pharmacists or pharmacy technicians? Because 16% of the respondents said they use their smart device for pharmacy-related items, “including prescriptions and OTCs — making pharmacy products the second-largest category (behind electronics and appliances),” Johnsen writes.

Are smart phones changing the way consumers shop for over-the-counter health items, or even where they fill their prescriptions? Please share your thoughts by clicking on the comment button.

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mScripts receives certification for McKesson’s EnterpriseRx system

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN FRANCISCO — Users of McKesson’s EnterpriseRx pharmacy system can communicate with patients through several mobile communication pathways and deliver a full-featured mobile pharmacy system using the mScripts mobile pharmacy platform, mScripts said Tuesday.

The company said it had received certification for the system, following its announcement of the integration with EnterpriseRx last week.

"We are excited to work with McKesson and offer a comprehensive mobile solution to pharmacies," mScripts CEO Mark Cullen said. "This mobile platform allows EnterpriseRx users to maintain their commitment to innovation and customer service and to provide an immediate benefit to their patients. For patients, the service results in faster and easier prescription refills, better adherence, less time waiting, increased convenience and a closer relationship with their pharmacy."

The integration of mScripts’ system with EnterpriseRx provides for two-way, interactive tax messaging and mobile applications support for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone devices to allow communication between patients and pharmacies. Features include the ability for patients to get refills, pickup and dosage reminders and a complete view of their health information, while pharmacies can proactively send patients information on health clinics, drug recalls and coupons.


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Reports: Analysis finds steep rise in ADHD diagnoses among children

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — More than one-tenth of school-age children and nearly one-fifth of high school boys in the United States have received a diagnosis for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to published reports.

The New York Times reported that the dramatic rise in the number of children diagnosed with ADHD over the last decade could lead to concern of over-diagnosis of the condition, as well as overuse of medications to treat it. The Times based its report on an analysis of raw data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC’s study was based on telephone interviews with more than 76,000 parents from between February 2011 and June 2012. According to the figures, about 6.4 million children ages 4 years through 17 years had been diagnosed with ADHD at some point, with the figure increasing by 16% since 2007 and 53% over the last decade. About two-thirds of children diagnosed had received a prescription for a drug to treat it. A map included with the Times story showed most of the diagnoses to be concentrated in the South and Midwest.

 

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