|The Future of Pharmacy: A Reader's Perspective||| Print ||
My name is Bryan Samuels and I am the technology director for a company called Modern Health. We are a privately held, specialty pharmacy company located in Southern California. Our company owns and operates six different specialty pharmacies each catering to its own specific demographic and/or disease state. Collectively, we dispense over 1.5 million prescriptions a year.
Here is a list of our pharmacies, their locations and their specialties:
Since coming to work for Modern Health 5 years ago, I have read almost every issue of ComputerTalk anxious to find out what other pharmacies are doing to innovate, create efficiencies and reduce costs through the use of technology. I often use CT as a litmus test to compare what we're doing with the rest of the industry and make sure that we're exploring all of our options and of course to get some new ideas. I'm always able to pull out a few good nuggets of information from each issue of CT, so thank you!
During my tenure, we have implemented several pieces of Pharmacy automation, including 2 Script Pro machines, an OSPAC/Talyst machine, an MTS semi-automated Accuflex, Pyxis Filling stations, Docutrack (two implementations), a pilot of Delivery Track, and as QS/1 customers, we have seen and gone through many different versions and upgrades of QS/1. We use bar-coding technology throughout our workflow processes and we run POS and IVR at our retail locations. From a pure technology standpoint, we have recently deployed an MPLS network for data security and performance, to help us control Internet usage and traffic and run quality of service to support inter-office Voice over IP. Over the last 3 years we have virtualized and centralized our data centers for all 6 of our locations and we are currently working on an initiative that will allow us to continue to operate during a disaster by replicating our data from our main data center to an alternate site.
All of this experience has given us broad exposure to both general and pharmacy-specific technology hardware and software and also to its vendors and we've learned quite a bit from this experience. With this as the context, I'd like to offer a few thoughts on he topic of technology and the future of pharmacy.
In my view, efficiencies achieved through the use of technology can only take a pharmacy so far. We seek to use technology in conjunction with our most valuable asset, our human resources, to innovate, change and adapt to increased regulations, decreased margins and overall market trends. The key benefit of pharmacy technology from the Modern Health perspective is that it automates several mundane, yet necessary, tasks that are essential to providing the safe delivery of prescriptions. This allows pharmacists and other pharmacy staff to do what they are trained for and what is most important: to provide our patients with advice and pharmacy expertise that ultimately improves their quality of care and quality of life.
Director of Technology