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Walgreens enables Apple Pay nationwide

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Monday announced the availability of Apple Pay at Walgreens and Duane Reade drug stores nationwide. 
 
“Customer experience is top of mind for Walgreens, and Apple Pay provides more flexibility for customers to use their payment of choice,” said Alex Gourlay, president, customer experience and daily living, Walgreens. “Incorporating the latest mobile technology into our business is another way we are offering ultimate convenience for our customers.”
 
In the more than 8,200 Walgreens and Duane Reade drug stores, Apple Pay works with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and the upcoming Apple Watch. Customers just hold their iPhone near the contactless reader at checkout, with their finger on Touch ID, to easily and securely pay.
 
Security and privacy is at the core of Apple Pay. When a user adds a credit or debit card with Apple Pay, the actual card numbers are not stored on the device nor on Apple servers. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element on your device. Each transaction is authorized with a one-time unique dynamic security code, instead of using the security code from the back of the card. 
 
If the iPhone is lost or stolen, the owner can use Find My iPhone to quickly suspend or remove cards from the device.
 
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Frank Iannarone of Madison Pharmacy receives 2014 NCPA Prescription Drug Safety Award

BY Antoinette Alexander

AUSTIN, Texas — The National Community Pharmacists Association has announced that Frank Iannarone III, owner of Madison Pharmacy in Madison, N.J., was named the winner of the 2014 NCPA Prescription Drug Safety Award.

Sponsored by Purdue Pharma, the award recognizes pharmacists who have reached out in their communities to provide education on the benefits of the correct use of prescription drug products and the hazards associated with their misuse. Iannarone received the award during the Second General Session of the 116th Annual National Community Pharmacists Association Convention and Trade Exposition held Oct. 18 to 22 in Austin, Texas.

“We are proud to present Frank Iannarone with the 2014 NCPA Prescription Drug Safety Award,” said pharmacist Mark Riley, NCPA president, EVP and CEO of the Arkansas Pharmacists Association, and an independent pharmacy owner in Little Rock, Ark. “The reason why Frank is such a deserving recipient is because of his prescription drug disposal efforts, advocacy against substance abuse, and commitment to ensuring patients properly take their medications. His tireless efforts to help his community are an inspiration to us all.”

The Drug Enforcement Administration recently announced its final regulations for The Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which allows for the disposal of controlled substances beyond law enforcement facilities to include pharmacies. Iannarone’s drug disposal efforts are well recognized as he was instrumental in getting his town to participate in its first drug take-back programs and in the installation of a permanent drug take-back box for residents. In the wake of the DEA’s new policy it is not surprising that Partnership for Drug Free New Jersey awarded his pharmacy with one of the first boxes that will handle controlled substance disposals.

In addition, Iannarone is committed to fighting the problem of drug and alcohol abuse. He sits on the board of the Madison Alliance Addressing Substance Abuse and the Morris County Alliance. Those efforts were also recognized as the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse selected him as Morris County Volunteer of the Year, which was the genesis for him being honored with Frank Iannarone Day (Sept. 24, 2012) in Madison.  

"Purdue Pharma is proud to sponsor the NCPA Drug Safety Award, and salutes Frank Iannarone for his efforts to promote appropriate use of medicines," said Michael Cullen, director, pharmacy and distribution sales at Purdue. "Pharmacists are often the last healthcare professional a patient sees before taking a medication, so they play an extremely important role facilitating access to care and counseling patients about medication safety."

Iannarone purchased Madison Pharmacy shortly after graduating from the Rutgers College of Pharmacy in 1988. The pharmacy offers a wide array of services from free blood pressure testing to prescription flavoring, and even ventures outside of the pharmacy realm by being a notary, offering ear piercings, and having a public fax. Iannarone has been a preceptor for Rutgers for more than 20 years, and was voted its Preceptor of the Year in 2013 by the pharmacy students. Iannarone also routinely speaks at Rutgers pharmacy events, promoting retail pharmacy and community service.
 

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Advocate Health Care, Abbott to explore how nutrition protocols reduce readmission rates

BY Michael Johnsen

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. — Advocate Health Care and Abbott on Monday announced a major research program to demonstrate how nutrition protocols can reduce both patients' readmission rates and costs in the hospital.
  
The program is a collaboration between Advocate Health Care, Russell Institute for Research & Innovation at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, the Center for Applied Value Analysis and Abbott. The study will enroll 3,000 adult patients admitted to four Advocate hospitals, making this one of the largest U.S. studies to gather information on the effectiveness of nutrition interventions in real-world settings. 
 
The prospective study will follow patients in real time from admission through 30 days after discharge to determine the impact rapid nutritional intervention has on decreasing 30-day readmission rates. According to the study's design, all patients will receive nutritional screenings upon being admitted. At two of the hospitals, malnourished and those at-risk patients will quickly receive nutritional treatment (an oral nutrition supplement) 24 to 48 hours sooner than standard practice. The patients enrolled at these two hospitals will also receive additional education, a discharge nutrition care plan and post-discharge reminder calls. 
 
 
The readmission rates at these two "pilot" hospitals will then be compared with the readmission rates among malnourished patients who received the current standard of care at the other two hospitals. 
 
"Our goal for this study goes far beyond demonstrating what Advocate Health Care can do to improve the quality of care for our patients," said Tom Summerfelt, VP research and innovation, Advocate Health Care. "As the largest accountable care organization in the country and one of the largest health systems in the Midwest, we have the broad patient population to provide real-world evidence of the value of nutrition interventions in improving patient outcomes, lowering costs and reducing readmission rates. No matter what the size of the hospital, these findings should have relevance because they demonstrate what is possible and can be implemented quickly."
 
The impetus for this large-scale study is the need to accelerate the adoption of effective nutrition practices in hospitals. Today, it is estimated that up to 50% of patients are either malnourished or at risk for malnutrition when they enter the hospital, and many will experience a nutritional decline during their stay.
 
Although numerous studies link the effective treatment of malnutrition in hospitals with 14% fewer overall medical complications and a 28% drop in avoidable hospital readmissions, hospitals are only now starting to recognize the impact in reducing healthcare costs and avoidable hospital readmissions.  
 
"A large-scale study of this kind will help show the real health outcomes that nutrition can have for patients in the hospital," said Robert Miller, divisional VP R&D, scientific and medical affairs at Abbott Nutrition. "As a healthcare company and leader in science-based nutrition, Abbott is committed to working in partnership with key researchers and institutions to demonstrate the impact nutrition can have in improving the quality of care and reducing health costs in today's demanding hospital environment."  
 
The study will start enrolling patients this month and findings will be released in 2015. 
 
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