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Technology Corner [January/February 2016] The Status of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs

We will start this column with a few questions, answers, and interesting facts. In the United States, what would you guess is responsible for more unintentional deaths than cocaine and heroin combined? Opioid analgesics. In 2013, what caused more deaths than homicide? Prescription analgesics. While the United States accounts for approximately 5% of the world’s population, it accounts for 80% of the world’s opiate use and 99% of the world’s hydrocodone use.

Catalyst Corner [January/February 2016] Pharmacist Services: New Report Highlights Ways to Expand Reimbursement

A new report from Avalere Health, entitled “Developing Trends in Delivery and Reimbursement of Pharmacist Services,” outlines several factors that could help facilitate broader reimbursement for pharmacist services. The report was released in November and funded by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS).

Viewpoints [January/February 2016] The Market Impact of Pharmacy Consolidation

The rate of retail pharmacy mergers has increased in the last year, with the announcement of several mega deals. The total pharmacies involved in these announced mergers is approximately 10% of the retail pharmacies in the country. We will spend a few minutes reviewing the market dynamics driving the accelerating consolidation in the industry.

George's Corner [January/February 2016] Call Yourself and an Advisory Board

These are a couple of things that I wrote about a few years ago. Please let me know if you have tried them (or will). Both are applicable to independent pharmacies. But only because the chains aren’t smart enough to do them. Both are easy. And both will tell you a lot about your pharmacy’s faults and features.

Publisher's Window [January/February 2016] Giving Meaning to PDMP Data

Thought on two initiatives helping stem the tide of drug abuse and diversion: NABP InterConnect and NARxCHECK.

George's Corner [November/December 2015] New Tools - Old Focus

I received a nice note from one of ComputerTalk’s readers regarding my comments about how face-to-face conversations are so important to patient care. They are what generate the positive emotional responses that are so important. Some thoughts about what has happened and how things look now.

Technology Corner [November/December 2015] How the Last 10 Years of Tech Can Help Prepare You Today

Ten years ago, RadioShack was celebrating its 84th year of being in business and was thought of by many as the “go to” place to see new technology. Even though they partnered with Sprint, they couldn’t command enough interest in this world today, where smartphones are the mainstream focus. Didn’t they know that the wearable technology and the Internet of Things was where everything was heading? Didn’t they know that Amazon was going to supply nearly every component of their inventory and ship it quickly without charging sales tax?

Catalyst Corner [November/December 2015] Fall Brings Several IT and MTM Developments

This fall a number of IT and medication therapy management (MTM) developments have been released. ONC released its final 10-year nationwide interoperability roadmap to advance the safe and secure exchange of electronic health data. HHS released the final rule changes to the Stage 1 and Stage 2 meaningful use EHR incentive program and Stage 3 requirements. And CMS announced an Enhanced Medication Therapy Management model test for Medicare Part D programs.

Viewpoints [November/December 2015] The Impact of Patient Intelligence Tools on Healthcare

As technological innovations expand, the opportunities for healthcare are limitless. In the last five years, smartphones and Bluetooth technology have opened the door for a number of new patient intelligence tools, often referred to as consumer intelligence tools. The most popular patient intelligence tools are, undoubtedly, fitness trackers or wearables.

Publisher's Window [November/December 2015] The Information Technology Evolution

Over the years we have gone from mainframes to minis to desktops to laptops and tablets. Now we are entering the “cloud” era — another transformation in how computing technology is deployed and used.

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