Donald J. Dietz, RPh, Editor-in-Chief of Inside Patient Care, discusses a new solution to allow each member of a patient’s healthcare team to access a patient’s health record in a single process called blockchain.

Donald J. Dietz, RPh, Editor-in-Chief of Inside Patient Care, discusses the difference between productivity and efficiency, 3 different fundamentals of a productivity mindset, and the impact they have on retail pharmacies.

We ask our student pharmacists to research and present to our team a topic that they believe they need to improve on before taking the pharmacy boards and beginning their career. Often, this is a topic they view as a weak point in their self-assessment; students will frequently research a disease with new treatment guidelines or new drug therapy options that were not covered in their didactic lectures on that therapeutic category.

In this issue of Inside Patient Care, Natalie Kokta, PharmD candidate, describes how community pharmacists can help in preventing antimicrobial resistance.

Last month, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced that it is supporting value-based pricing for medications. The AMA supports initiatives “aimed at changing the fundamentals of prescription drug pricing without compromising patient outcomes and access.” The association also “seeks to blunt growing pharmaceutical spending rates by tying drug prices to an optimal balance of benefits and costs
Recently I became aware of a new practice model to improve patient access to quality and efficient care, with the objective of advancing pharmacy in the broader healthcare setting. The pilot project is titled “Advancing community pharmacy quality: leveraging tech-check-tech (TCT) to expand patient care services in community pharmacies,” and is being conducted by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, in partnership with the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin.
The pharmacy profession has evolved from an era long ago, when most prescription drugs were compounded, to today, when the vast majority of prescribed medications are tablets, capsules, or prepackaged drugs made by pharmaceutical manufacturers under US Food and Drug Administration approval. To improve efficiency and accuracy, and to control costs, pharmacies have implemented various levels of technology and automation, which free up time for pharmacists to perform additional activities. In many pharmacy environments, this time is used to process more prescriptions, which is often the prudent and most profitable option.
Since 2004, the American Pharmacists Association has designated October as American Pharmacists Month. This awareness month provides opportunities to promote the pharmacy profession, and to acknowledge the involvement of pharmacy personnel in supporting positive health outcomes and improving patient care.
I recently became aware of precision medicine, a new opportunity for healthcare in the United States. President Obama introduced the Precision Medicine Initiative during his 2015 State of the Union Address. Precision medicine is an evidence-based approach that uses innovative tools, biologics, and data science to customize disease prevention, detection, and treatment to improve the effectiveness and quality of patient care.
Recently, I came across an interesting pharmacy reimbursement model introduced by Sunflower Health Plan in Kansas. Sunflower Health Plan is a managed care subsidiary of the Centene Corporation, St. Louis, MO. Sunflower will offer a higher dispensing fee for claims submitted from pharmacies that have achieved accreditation through the Center for Pharmacy Practice Accreditation (CPPA). I was pleased to see that this is truly an increased fee, and not a redistribution of claim withholds, which pharmacies are experiencing with some plans today.
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