Giant Eagle awarded for safe medication practices
PITTSBURGH —Supermarket retailer Giant Eagle recently was recognized by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices at ISMP’s 12th Annual Cheers Awards reception, which honors individuals, organizations and companies for excellence in the prevention of medication errors and adverse drug events.
Giant Eagle pharmacy was recognized with a Cheers Award for its efforts in ensuring high-quality customer service and accuracy. The chain recently had implemented two quality initiatives, including No Defects Passed Forward, an initiative that encourages staff to identify any potential errors at each stage of the dispensing process before they reach the pharmacist for final verification. “What [NDPF] does, in a nutshell, is require the person who is ready to perform their function to check the work that was done by the person immediately before them in the process,” said Randy Heiser, Giant Eagle VP pharmacy. NDPF also helps improve customer service, Heiser noted, including improvements in initial dispensing time, as well as the time saved in reconciling errors after the fact.
The second program prevents point-of-sale errors by linking the pharmacy dispensing system to the registers. A bar code with patient date-of-birth was added to prescription receipts—when scanned, a blind prompt is created for the team member to enter that date. If an incorrect birth date is entered, the sales transaction cannot be completed.
“Medication accuracy is paramount at Giant Eagle,” Heiser said. “We’re honored to be recognized by the ISMP for our dedication to the health and well-being of our customers.”
Heiser also suggested that the retail pharmacy industry might benefit from the sharing of best practices in preventing medication errors. “We do it in some of our [grocery retailer] share groups, but there really has been no national push in getting [retail pharmacy] together and sharing those ideas,” he said.
Virginia lawmakers move to block plan for mandated health coverage
WASHINGTON In an act of defiance against the Obama administration’s plan for healthcare reform, the Virginia legislature this week moved to block a provision in that plan that would mandate that Americans obtain health insurance.
Health reform opponents on Thursday applauded the move, which came Tuesday when the Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill that would make it illegal to require individuals to purchase health insurance. The measure already passed the state Senate and is headed to the desk of Governor Bob McDonnell, who is expected to sign the bill into law.
That will make Virginia “the first state to protect its citizens from a federal government mandate to obtain health insurance,” according to a conservative advocacy group called Americans for Prosperity, which has bitterly opposed efforts by Democrats to reform the U.S. health system. The group also claims that a total of 37 states are considering some form of “health care freedom act.”
The White House, for its part, has long proposed some form of mandated coverage for all Americans as a means of holding down insurance costs and ensuring that healthier Americans are also included in insurance pools. Under the Obama administration’s proposal, however, much of the cost of individual coverage could be defrayed or offset by tax cuts or other financial help for individuals who can’t afford the costs of coverage.
Home health specialist Carex launches online membership program for patients
OAKLAND, Calif. A company that makes in-home health products has launched a section on its Web site for elderly people and their caregivers.
Carex Health Brands announced Thursday the launch of Carex Care Connection, at carex.com. The site allows users to share stories and find discounts and giveaways on Carex products, which include products for mobility, bathroom safety, personal care and daily living aids, pain management and others.
“Our team at Carex Health Brands genuinely cares about the welfare of seniors,” Carex VP marketing Nathalie Kim said in a statement. “In addition to our efforts to create the most innovative and quality products in the in-home health category, we want to connect directly with caregivers and the senior community.”