How to Reduce Prescription Errors in 21st Century Pharmacies

It may seem like a contradiction but the pharmacy of the 21st century will feature both robotic automation and greater interaction between pharmacists and patients.

prescription pharmacyPharmacy automation has been steadily making its way into many pharmacies throughout the country. Robotic systems from companies like Aesynt, Parata Systems and RxMedic sort and dispense pills, which spares pharmacists from work that takes a lot of time and can lead to human error. It’s hard to put a firm number on presciption errors but the Food and Drug Administration says it has received close to 30,000 reports of medication errors since 1992. With many pills looking alike and many drug names sounding similar, automated systems offer a better way of checking and verifying that patients receive only drug they were prescribed.

Another technology development that will change the pharmacy of the 21st century is the adoption of electronic prescribing, which gives doctors the ability to send prescriptions electronically to a pharmacy. E-prescribing reduces the chances for error that can come from misreading a doctor’s handwriting.

As for the pharmacists themselves, the evolution of pharmacist training is changing the profession. Compared to decades ago, today’s pharmacists can be more specialized and they enter the field with more specialized training, pharmacy consultant Ernest Gates tells Drug Topics. Some of these pharmacists will work in specialty pharmacies in areas such as oncology, geriatrics and diabetes among other areas of specialization.

Pharmacists who aren’t specialists can still expect to take on more responsibilities as a consequence of the Affordable Care Act. With the law’s expansion of Medicaid, Daniel Brown, a pharmacist and professor at the pharmacy school at Palm Beach Atlantic University, tells Medscape that he expects community pharmacies to see more Medicaid prescriptions. He also sees the increase in this patient traffic presenting additional opportunities for pharmacists to talk to patients about preventive services. Here’s where pharmacy automation is important. Automation doesn’t replace pharmacists. Instead, it provides a remedy to busy pharmacists – these systems free pharmacists to spend more of their time counseling patients instead of sorting pills. If the expected increase in patient traffic to pharmacies holds true, time savings found with automation will become very valuable.

For more information about emerging pharmacy trends, please contact us.

How To Use Google Glasses in Healthcare Training To Broaden Your Scope

Google Glass has been receiving a lot of press recently, especially in the field of medicine. Before we delve into how to use google glasses in healthcare training, let’s start by looking more closely at the device.

how to use google glasses in healthcare training, technology and healthcare, google glass and healthcareAs the name suggests, Google Glass is worn similar to a pair of glasses, minus one component: the lens. Instead of the lenses found in a traditional pair of glasses, the unit consists of a wire frame with a small, square computer in the upper right hand corner. The right side of the wire frame, close to the ear, acts as a track pad that turns the device off and on.

Once activated, the user can view the computer screen in their peripheral vision. The screen can be used to scroll through information, like a mini computer, or can be used as a live video capture of whatever you are viewing.

Google Glass was created for the public masses with the idea that now you can literally be connected to the Internet in a hands-free way. If you are in Paris and want to know how to get to the Eiffel Tower, simply turn Google Glass on with a swipe of your finger, ask the computer to locate directions, and begin walking.
When it comes to healthcare training, Google Glass has found many uses. Since this is our main focus, let’s consider some test cases below:

1. Ohio State University is using Google Glass during surgery, allowing the surgeon to perform a live surgery for training future surgeons.

2. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is using the device to pull up medical records before a doctor enters the room. Rather than sift through a file, the doctors scroll through the records on glass.

3. Rhode Island Hospital in Providence has used Google Glass as an interdisciplinary approach to medicine in the Emergency Room. When patients come into the ER with needs that may require a specialist consult, the attending physician can call through Glass and provide a live video feed of the patient to whatever specialist is on call.

The list of Google Glass indications for healthcare training are endless. In addition to live education, it can allow doctors to review symptoms before recommending treatment plans. It can also allow more autonomy for medical students as a supervisor or specialist is just a video conference away.

Google Glass is simply one aspect of healthcare training. If you are interested in learning about the various types of medical training we provide, please contact us.

Moodle for Medicine: Choosing a Learning Management System for Healthcare Students That Works

One of the most important decisions you can make for your healthcare students is choosing the right learning management system (LMS). Choosing the right LMS is important because it helps students navigate successfully within each course, and it helps professors fulfill the requirements of teaching the course and facilitating ongoing communication with students. There are many different learning management systems on the market today. Some of the most popular LMS platforms include Moodle, Blackboard, Angel, and eCollege. Let’s look at how each of these platforms can be used in the context of healthcare education.

Moodle for medicine

Moodle

Moodle has all the features of a typical learning management system such as assignment submission and online grading. Moodle also has a discussion forum, instant messaging, online calendars, online news and announcements and can facilitate online quizzes. In addition, Moodle users are continually developing third-party plugins that can be used with this LMS. Moodle provides a centralized location for submitting assignments, taking online quizzes, and participating in discussion forums.
Blackboard

Blackboard is an incredibly popular learning management system that has been on the market for years. It offers seven different platforms for its learning management systems that have been adapted for use by K-12 schools, universities and  companies. Blackboard offers your students a tried-and-true learning management system to facilitate their studies.

Angel

Angel offers healthcare students and professors a very clean interface and extensive real world feedback. Angel’s interface is set up to engage busy students. Its opening screen allows student users to quickly check their course guide, see what’s new, look at current activities, track grades and look at their own personal lists of tasks or to do notes for each class. It has a feeling of activity associated with the student user screens. For professors, it offers real world data and feedback on student progress to streamline communication between instructors and students.

eCollege

eCollege is a learning management system that is produced by textbook provider Pearson. eCollege combines a learning management system with streamline access to textbooks. If your school uses Pearson textbooks to support your learning, eCollege integrates ebooks within its learning management system and offers students interactive ways to use their platform.

Which Learning Management System Is For You?

Moodle, Blackboard, Angel and eCollege are all learning management systems with something to offer your healthcare students. Please contact us to further discuss which of these learning management system will work best for your healthcare students. We can help guide you to the best choice for your students. We look forward to helping you.