Pharmacy groups launch e-health task force

WASHINGTON Staking a firm claim to the emerging technology revolution in health care, nine national pharmacy organizations Wednesday unveiled a new, joint task force to grapple with the challenges and opportunities posed by information technology.

The so-called Pharmacy e-Health Information Technology Collaborative will focus on the pharmacy profession’s technology needs “to ensure that they are addressed and integrated into the framework of the U.S. health information technology infrastructure,” the groups noted in a joint statement. “In doing so, the collaborative is committed to creating a comprehensive and unified approach, ensuring optimal integration of pharmacy’s requirements and contributions into the electronic health record.”

Among the collaborative’s founding members: the American Pharmacists Association, the National Community Pharmacists Association, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, American College of Clinical Pharmacy, American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations.

“In order for patients to receive optimal care, pharmacists need to have the ability to access and contribute to relevant, patient-specific information from the EHR. The work of the collaborative will focus on achieving this goal,” said Tom Menighan, EVP and CEO of APhA, who will chair the working group.

Serving as its director will be Rachelle “Shelly” Spiro, a pharmacist and long-term care specialist who heads Spiro Consulting. Spiro is active in national pharmacy associations, standards development organizations and is a leader in pharmacy health IT.

For additional information on the Pharmacy e-Health Information Technology Collaborative, contact James Owen, APhA’s director of professional practice, at jowen@aphanet.org.

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