PHARMACY

VoicePort expands automated solutions that support patient care

BY David Salazar

Though VoicePort’s best-known offering is its PharmaPhonetics platform — which provides multichannel, automated and personalized communications to help pharmacies engage with patients — the Rochester, N.Y.-based company has expanded its offerings as the pharmacist’s role has expanded beyond filling prescriptions to helping patients lead healthy lives.

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“Our company is focused on leveraging automation to support core pharmacy patient-care solutions and profit objectives to deliver added quality and improved Star ratings,” VoicePort VP business development Alphonse Sasso told Drug Store News recently.

The company last October inked a deal with Costco’s Canadian pharmacies to provide some of its solutions to the chain. The company’s suite of solutions currently includes SYNCHRO-SCRIPT for medication synchronization and a platform for integrated immunization services, among others. The company’s offerings, according to Sasso, can help pharmacies with data integration, analytics and operational expertise.

VoicePort’s medication synchronization tool, SYNCHRO-SCRIPT, in particular, is aimed at automating a complicated process to help drive and pave the way for more pharmacist interventions that can improve patient health.

“Our medication synchronization solution works to help the pharmacy team align the patient’s meds and keep them aligned to a convenient once-a-month regimen,” Sasso said. “Having this automated approach in place to recommend an anchor med, offer short-fill calculations and get patients enrolled in the program offers pharmacies added time to meet with the patient to support other clinical interventions like MTM, immunizations, patient education and other important opportunities available in our platform.”

When it comes to immunization services, VoicePort’s solution is integrated with Scientific Technologies Corp.’s immunization intelligence platform to help pharmacies identify which vaccinations a patient is missing.

“Via the direct integration with STC, our platform has the capability to query the appropriate State Immunization Information Service, provide patient-specific immunization forecasting and automatically comply with state-specific reporting requirements,” Sasso said. “By leveraging our state-of-the-art, cloud-based communication technology, we can notify each eligible patient of their vaccination needs and capture their responses for action by the pharmacy team.

For the company, better outcomes begin with adherence through close collaboration with its pharmacy partners.

“Keeping patients adherent to their meds prescribed by their healthcare professional is key to allowing them to live happy, healthy and productive lives,” Sasso said. “Our No. 1 priority at VoicePort is to ensure that we are surpassing all of our cli-ent’s expectations, and we pride ourselves on the valuable and trusting relationships we have built with each VoicePort client.”

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PHARMACY

Tech companies look to drive outcomes

BY David Salazar

Pharmacies and their staffs are under increased pressure. Not only are they filling more prescriptions — almost 4 billion were filled by retail and mail pharmacies in 2015, according to IMS Health — but their job has moved beyond dispensing into a more active role in delivering improved patient outcomes.

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With this shift, pharmacy technology companies are coming at the challenge from a number of different angles, offering solutions to streamline operations and drive greater efficiency in pharmacy workflow, freeing pharmacy staff to better serve patients, improve medication adherence, facilitate medication therapy management and more advanced disease state counseling, and expand immunization services. In this issue, Drug Store News takes a look at what some leading technology companies are doing to innovate pharmacy care and improve patient outcomes.

Innovation: Looking toward the future

Innovation and Binghamton University’s Washington Institute for Systems Excellence hosted a pharmacy automation symposium on BU’s campus in April, where Innovation executives and faculty members from BU WISE shared with attendees the benefits that automation can have for pharmacies.

The symposium walked attendees through the process of adding a central-fill solution into a high-volume pharmacy operation, from planning to development to installation. The two-day event also featured a live demonstration of Innovation’s cobots — flexible and adaptable robots that work in collaboration with humans — as a way to improve efficiency.

“The information that was given was something that will help us make informed decisions that can aid us in enhancing our patients’ quality of life,” Rite Aid manager of pharmacy technology and operations Steve Smith told DSN. For more, visit DrugStoreNews.com/Innovation-BU-Automation-Symposium.

PDX: Leveraging patient data while constantly updating offerings

PDX is using predictive data to help identify patients and improve clinical outcomes through its Care Rx platform. Configured as a standalone program for pharmacies or fully integrated with the company’s Enterprise Pharmacy System and PDX Classic system, Care Rx offers real-time alerts throughout the fulfillment process to determine when patient interventions are needed.   

The Care Rx platform also offers integrated immunization solutions through its partnership with Scientific Technologies Corp. The IMMSLINK services for immunization reporting and forecasting coupled with the Care Rx platform improves the workflow for pharmacies and advances the practice of disease management to patients.    

“Three years ago, we moved to a new technology platform so that we’re delivering code every five weeks — functional code that our customers ask for — that is automatically deployed and running in stores,” PDX SVP business development George Owens said. “All those underpinnings are part of delivering this total healthcare solution.”

Ateb: Using data to improve adherence

In an effort to improve patient outcomes, software companies like Ateb are developing tailored solutions for pharmacies that utilize pre-existing patient data that can help provide insight into how and when pharmacist intervention is useful.

Ateb’s Time My Meds medication synchronization solution does just that, centering the patient experience around an appointment-based model that encourages pharmacists to engage with patients and decide which intervention — from phone calls or texts to med sync and MTM solutions — are best for each patient.

“We’re collaborating with our pharmacy partners to leverage technology and their data to better identify which patients require targeted interventions and engage them to improve their adherence,” Ateb CEO and president Frank Sheppard told DSN. “Along those lines, pharmacy needs to get engaged and position themselves as a vital partner to improve healthcare outcomes.”

ScriptPro: Streamlining workflow

Streamlinling workflow while freeing pharmacists for patient interaction, ScriptPro’s CRS line of robots can track lot numbers and expiration dates, handling over half of the manual prescription filling process in the pharmacy.

“ScriptPro robots free up pharmacy staff from having to perform manual filling tasks while the patient is waiting,” a company spokesperson said. “Having the much needed time to set up an adherence program for a patient goes a long way to improving patient outcomes.”

ScriptPro also uses a workflow management and tracking system, SP Central, which tracks all prescriptions — including OTC products — that need a label. It also collates prescriptions and can launch patient and drug-level alerts at various steps in the filling process.

And to help bridge the distance between the patient and the pharmacist in remote and underserved areas, Script-Pro is offering a telepharmacy solution that allows the pharmacist to interact live, in real time with patients remotely via a video and audio feed.

“Telepharmacy allows pharmacists to bring special expertise to the patient regardless of where the patient is located,” according to ScriptPro. “That one-on-one interaction between pharmacist and patient goes a long way — compared to just getting a package from the mail carrier — to helping patients get better and lead healthier lives.”

QS/1: Mobile-ready platforms

In 2015, QS/1 rolled out several new products both for pharmacists and patients, helping increase convenience for pharmacies through its new Sharp-Rx pharmacy management system, which includes an iPad delivery app for pharmacies.

Additionally, the company is offering such mobile patient solutions as its mobileRx refill app and the PocketRx app, which pharmacies can customize with their own branding and logo to provide convenient access to refills and such services as delivery and refill reminders. All of these solutions are aimed at making health care more convenient for patients, while improving pharmacies’ ability to provide more services efficiently.

“Our delivery app makes it easier for the pharmacy to efficiently deliver medication to patients even in remote areas where there isn’t an Internet connection,” QS/1’s VP national sales Ed Willet told Drug Store News. “We must do everything we can to make adherence as simple and easy as possible for the patient.”

 

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PHARMACY

Ultra AppleLean catches apple cider vinegar trend

BY DSN STAFF

RONKONKOMA, N.Y. — Sales of apple cider vinegar supplements are on the rise, and Princeton Research now offers the next top-trending supplement that will greatly increase incremental segment growth — Ultra AppleLean Cider Vinegar.

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Manufactured by Piping Rock Health Products, the ultra-strength formula delivers the benefits of apple cider vinegar enhanced with ingredients, such as vitamin B-12 and chromium. These nutrients work synergistically to maximize the body’s performance, stimulate sugar and carbohydrate metabolism, and support maximum energy levels.  

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