Lisa Miller, current president of the American Society for Automation in Pharmacy (ASAP) PDMP Prescription Drug Monitoring Program reportingComputerTalk Publisher Bill Lockwood talks to Lisa Miller, current president of the American Society for Automation in Pharmacy (ASAP), about the accomplishments of the organization and the benefit of membership. Lisa is senior director of product operations at Pittsburgh-based SoftWriters.

ComputerTalk: Let’s begin with the number of years you have been a member and the value you have gotten out of being a member.

Lisa Miller is president of the board of the American Society for Automation in Pharmacy (ASAP) and is senior director of product operations at Pittsburgh-based SoftWriters.
Lisa Miller

Lisa Miller: I have been a member of ASAP since 2012 and an active board member since 2017. When I think about the greatest value in being a member, two things instantly come to mind. First, the networking opportunities. It has allowed me to connect with other professionals in our industry, share experiences, and exchange ideas. Second, the ability to be able to influence the direction of our industry by being part of defining the standards that we use today.

CT: Becoming the president of the organization is something well deserved. How do you see the future of ASAP evolving?

Miller: I was honored to step into the role of president earlier this year. The field of pharmacy automation is constantly evolving. I believe that ASAP will continue to participate in advocacy efforts aimed at promoting the benefits of automation in pharmacy. By collectively influencing policies and regulations, our members can help shape the future of pharmacy automation.

There has been some discussion with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to map the ASAP web services and the reporting standard to HL7. However, they have faced some challenges with not all data elements having fields to map to, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

CT: ASAP’s niche is prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs). The ASAP reporting standards developed over the years are used by every PDMP. Tell us more about this.

Miller: ASAP is recognized as a standards development organization by the Office of the National Coordinator. We have continued to grow and mature the standard over the years. The current standard, v4.2B, has been out for over three years, and we recently saw an opportunity to evolve the standard to better suit the needs of the industry today. Starting in Q3 of 2022, more than 40 stakeholders, including PDMP administrators, pharmacy system vendors, and drug chains, participated in conference calls to discuss ways to enhance the data being reported.

As a participant in these calls, I was extremely impressed to see the commitment and collaboration that came from the industry, particularly the relationship that we, as an organization, have built with the state PDMPs. The result of these calls was the new v5.0 standard. It includes 44 new fields to address challenges with compliance monitoring, data integrity, and patient matching.

In addition to the new fields, new codes were added to existing fields to increase the granularity of the data. Version 5.0 of the reporting standard was released in March, and the industry can begin using it in production beginning Jan. 1, 2024. Several states and system vendors have already ordered a copy, which can be obtained by going to At SoftWriters, we have already begun the implementation of the new standard and are excited to see the impact that it will have on our industry come January.

CT: And now an ASAP standard is used by one state, Nebraska, to capture all prescriptions dispensed, with others considering doing the same. Would you care to comment on the importance of this?

Miller: There is so much value in the data that is being reported using the ASAP standard. Providing data for all prescriptions, not just controls, enables access to comprehensive patient medication histories, facilitating better care coordination and communication among healthcare teams. I hope to see more states follow Nebraska’s lead and make the reporting of all prescriptions required.

CT: Changing direction, let’s talk about the annual conference the organization holds and the benefits of attending.

Miller: Our 2024 annual conference will be held January 10–12 at the Don CeSar in St. Pete Beach, Florida. The annual conference offers ample time for networking, with a dedicated afternoon for networking session and a reception. It provides a great selection of presentations, with topics ranging from regulatory updates, best practices, and emerging trends in the industry. New for this upcoming conference, the registration fee is only $500 with a corporate membership.

CT: Any closing comments you would like to offer?

Miller: Being a member of ASAP provides you with the network, knowledge, and voice to advocate for improvements in technology and interoperability in our industry. I love being part of this organization and look forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new members at the conference in January. CT


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