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Millions of Reasons to Switch to CPOE

by pharmacy on April 24, 2013

The medical field has benefited greatly from the use of computers in the workplace. Computer Provider Order Entry (CPOE) is just one of those benefits, but is one of the more important and potentially lifesaving. Given the amount of prescriptions dispensed improperly over the course of a day (Which the Institute of Medicine estimates to be roughly 1 error per day, per patient), reducing medication errors is a great reason to switch to CPOE that can help keep your customers safe.

By implementing a CPOE system, the amount of time spent processing a medication order decreases, and the margin for error is much less. Over 17 million prescription errors can be prevented through the use of CPOE. Brigham and Women’s hospital was able to reduce their overall error rate by 81% by using CPOE instead of traditional prescribing methods. Offering patients access to better healthcare with less costly and potentially dangerous errors is key to a pharmacy’s success.

Adding CPOE to your location’s workflow may seem like a daunting task. How to best merge your CPOE with the needs of your healthcare practice is an important decision to make. Having a testing period of your CPOE before it goes live is crucial to making sure that your team members understand its functions, benefits, and how it will improve both their workflow and client care at the same time. Making the transition from paper exchanges to CPOE orders can be difficult, and identifying the most common scripts that may change is a great way to get your employees learning about CPOE. Making sure that the process is monitored throughout its rollout period is another task to consider. Often, some practices can change at night. 24 hour pharmacies may operate differently than a location that has a set closing time. Making sure the CPOE works for all shifts is crucial.

Identifying your pharmacy’s weak areas and addressing them in your CPOE is a way to bolster overall success, provide better customer care, and allow your team to adjust and improve on these areas in real time. Creating a CPOE process that employees can understand and have had time to get used to—instead of upgrading overnight, is helpful. Making sure that all members of your team understand the benefits of CPOE and can use the program to its full potential are great starting points.

Has your pharmacy switched to CPOE? What have you found most daunting, or has been the biggest improvement to your daily workflow? Share in the comments below.



This year’s Health Datapalooza will be held on June 5-6, at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. The event will feature exciting new products, services, applications, and features based on open source health data. Entrepreneurs across the country are submitting their innovations to be judged by panels comprised of health care professionals, community leaders, and consumers. The best inventions will be showcased during the event. It’s an exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs and a great way for pharmacists to stay on top of the next big thing in the healthcare data industry. [click to continue…]

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Rite Aid Fined $2.5 Million

by Toby Roberts on March 3, 2010

A Montgomery, Alabama jury last month leveled a $2.5 million fine over an incorrectly filled prescription from 2006. Reva Tosh was accidently given the steroid Decadron in place of the pain medication for her rheumatoid arthritis.

Ms. Tosh took high doses of the steroid for 28 days after which she developed Cushing’s syndrome.  She suffered from mental disorders as well as physical problems that eventually confined her to a wheelchair. Her attorney maintained that the primary issue in the case was weather the ailments she suffered were due to the Cushing’s or a result of the rheumatoid arthritis that was the cause of her original prescription for pain medication.

The jury found that the Cushing’s was the cause of her current conditions and awarded Ms. Tosh $2 million for her injuries and suffering. They also awarded her husband $500,000 for the loss of his wife’s companionship.


Study Finds Large Numbers of Prescriptions Never Filled

by Toby Roberts on February 19, 2010

A Massachusetts study recently found that 22 to 28 percent of medication prescriptions go unfilled by patients. The study examined electronic prescription records in two heath plans as well as pharmacy claims to check which prescriptions were filled. All patients in the study did have medical insurance.

The findings noted that 22 percent of the total of all the prescriptions went unfilled. When narrowed to only include brand new prescriptions 28 percent went unfilled. The most likely to not be picked up were pain medications with medications for chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol also having high unfilled rates.

Researchers suggest that despite health care insurance the high cost of co-pays or out of plan prescriptions might be a problem. Others may not be filling prescriptions for chronic conditions if they don’t have outward symptoms and are not clear about the function of the medication. Researchers suggest that doctors and pharmacists work together to clearly educate patients about the need for beginning and continuing medication for chronic conditions.


Rates Lowered for Electronic Prescriptions

by Toby Roberts on February 17, 2010

Surescripts electronic prescriptions implemented an overall rate reduction for their services in January of this year. The reduction is an attempt to encourage smaller pharmacies and physician groups to use electronic prescription services. The drop is estimated at a 10-15% reduction for smaller independent pharmacies. The amount of the decrease varies slightly depending on the type of software that is being used.

The service is already free for physicians and other prescribers but the company estimates that fewer than 25% of small offices make use of electronic prescriptions. Larger companies with in house IT departments have already made the switch but the majority of prescriptions are written by independent physicians and staffs. [click to continue…]


Pharmacy Chains Receiving Plentiful H1N1

by Toby Roberts on December 18, 2009

Reports this week show that doses of the H1N1 are in high supply as pharmacy chains across the country have received increased stock.  Although recent reports are that the flu strain is decreasing, officials are still urging everyone to get the vaccine and suggesting that pharmacists continue to discuss it with patients to avoid future large outbreaks.

States that have had restrictions on the vaccine are now lifting them to make it available to everyone. Some had been prioritizing health care workers, pregnant women, infants, and others with high risk of complications. Now those prioritizations are being lifted and all of the general population is being encouraged to get vaccinated.

The Department of Health and Human Services reports that traditionally interest in the seasonal flu vaccine drops around the holidays even though the flu itself tends to surge in January and February.  Officials hope that a surge in H1N1 can be prevented by a renewed push to vaccinate everyone during the holiday season.


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