HEALTH

Pharmacy groups launch e-health task force

BY Jim Frederick

WASHINGTON Staking a firm claim to the emerging technology revolution in health care, nine national pharmacy organizations Wednesday unveiled a new, joint task force to grapple with the challenges and opportunities posed by information technology.

The so-called Pharmacy e-Health Information Technology Collaborative will focus on the pharmacy profession’s technology needs “to ensure that they are addressed and integrated into the framework of the U.S. health information technology infrastructure,” the groups noted in a joint statement. “In doing so, the collaborative is committed to creating a comprehensive and unified approach, ensuring optimal integration of pharmacy’s requirements and contributions into the electronic health record.”

Among the collaborative’s founding members: the American Pharmacists Association, the National Community Pharmacists Association, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, American College of Clinical Pharmacy, American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations.

“In order for patients to receive optimal care, pharmacists need to have the ability to access and contribute to relevant, patient-specific information from the EHR. The work of the collaborative will focus on achieving this goal,” said Tom Menighan, EVP and CEO of APhA, who will chair the working group.

Serving as its director will be Rachelle “Shelly” Spiro, a pharmacist and long-term care specialist who heads Spiro Consulting. Spiro is active in national pharmacy associations, standards development organizations and is a leader in pharmacy health IT.

For additional information on the Pharmacy e-Health Information Technology Collaborative, contact James Owen, APhA’s director of professional practice, at jowen@aphanet.org.

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Rite Aid highlights patients’ favorite pharmacists with annual contest

BY Allison Cerra

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid is asking patients to vote for their favorite pharmacist during the month of October, which is American Pharmacists Month.

Through Oct. 31, Rite Aid patients are encouraged to vote for their favorite pharmacist on RiteAid.com or in any Rite Aid store, an annual contest now in its seventh year. One patient and one pharmacist will each receive $2,500 in Rite Aid gift cards through a random drawing.

“American Pharmacists Month is the perfect time to honor Rite Aid pharmacists for all they do to keep their patients and communities healthy,” said Robert Thompson, Rite Aid EVP pharmacy. “Our pharmacists provide outstanding patient care every day, whether they’re counseling patients on medications, administering immunizations or helping them manage a new or difficult disease. Our Favorite Pharmacist program is a great way for our company and patients to thank them for their hard work and dedication throughout the year.”

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Kerr Drug delivers in a big way

BY Allison Cerra

RALEIGH, N.C. In an effort to further connect customers to their pharmacy, Kerr Drug now is offering free drug delivery to those that are ill, housebound or simply too busy to pick up their prescriptions.

How it works: Kerr Drug customers call their prescriptions in to the store pharmacist and request the prescription be delivered to their home or office, and the customer must sign for their prescription when the medication is delivered. To add even more value to the service, in addition to the prescription delivery, any other item from the store also can be delivered free of charge.

“Kerr Drug is a pioneer in the concept of community pharmacy, and ultimately what that means is finding the best way to serve the people in your community,” said Tony Civello, president and CEO of Kerr Drug. “There are times and circumstances when customers can’t get to the pharmacy, so this is a way to bring the pharmacy to them.”

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