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PHARMACY | TECHNOLOGY AND AUTOMATION

manufacturers, distributors and patients to securely administer the mass dispensing of vaccines, the associated laboratory testing, and adverse event reporting safely and securely with real-time collection, analysis, surveillance and reporting. MyVax also provides a digital immunization card and can connect to any state immunization system to streamline reporting. “MyVax National Immunization Management solution is the last-mile patient engagement solution whose infrastructure is already deployed nationwide, operating at every point-of-sale pharmacy, providing realtime alerts directly into the pharmacy workflow,” said CEO Stanley Campbell. He also said that MyVax also can provide individuals with information on where to get the vaccine, match Vaccine National Drug Code dispersed to the patient, and set appointments and alerts for the subsequent doses. San Francisco, Calif.-based 1Health, and STChealth, Phoenix, Ariz. are offering a patient engagement COVID-19 vaccination solution. It is an open platform that will allow pharmacists and patients to simplify and automate vaccination tracking, ADR collection, reporting and anti-body validation. “With the federal government about to deploy vaccines at the largest scale in history, we are now providing the technology that will help seamlessly manage this process through vaccination, monitoring and antibody testing,” said 1health’s CEO Mehdi Maghsoodnia. “We were able to quickly adapt our existing Testing as a Service platform to create this new offering for patients and providers who desperately need a single tracking and reporting system to achieve immunity and end this pandemic.” 1health also offers the first FDA emergency use-authorized COVID-19 saliva test. Digital results are provided on the company’s secure platform within 48 hours of the lab receiving the results. Omnicell’s EnlivenHealth division also is using technology to make administering the COVID-19 vaccination less daunting. The company’s EnlivenHealth CareScheduler solution provides pharmacies with the digital technology they need to automate the operational and administrative processes involved

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with administering the COVID-19 vaccine. CareScheduler automates vaccine scheduling, patient consent form collection and vaccine registry reporting. “The digital tool dramatically reduces the coronavirus infection risk for patients and staff by eliminating the need for patients to sign physical pieces of paper, while minimizing their time spent in the pharmacy,” said Danny Sanchez, EnlivenHealth vice president and general manager. He noted that EnlivenHealth in 2021 would work with health plans to prioritize outreach to high-risk populations, schedule vaccine administration at local pharmacies and enable reporting to vaccine registries.

Getting Paid Once a vaccine is administered, it is important that a pharmacy be compensated, something Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Inmar Intelligence knows all about. Lari Harding, vice president of client development, said that Inmar will be helping ensure that pharmacies can bill, get paid and reconcile all transactions related to COVID19 vaccinations. The company also will help pharmacies manage damaged, expired or otherwise returnable vaccination doses. “This is a pivotal moment for retail pharmacies as they further secure their status as front-line healthcare providers,” Harding said. The need to bill for immunizations comes as many pharmacies, particularly independents, are facing cash flow difficulty during the pandemic. Jeffrey Swanson, head of sales at Libertyville, Ill.-based Pharma Logistics, said that as a result of the pandemic, some 66% of pharmacy owners are experiencing negative cash flow. “In 2021, Pharma Logistics will continue to offer pharmaceutical returns services that are convenient and, more importantly, help drug store pharmacies remain compliant while improving their cash flow,” he said.

Eyes on the Future Industry experts see the future as ripe for technology to boost patient care in 2021 and beyond. Scott Kemme, McKesson senior vice president of pharmaceutical technology and innovation, said empowered pharmacists build stronger patient relationships and drive

outcomes. In 2021, he said it is critical that pharmacists practice at the top of their licenses and focus on improving patient outcomes. “Robust logistics capabilities and innovative pharmacy technology solutions should be tailored to make basic tasks more efficient and free pharmacists to spend more time interacting with patients,” he said. “Pharmacists rely heavily on technology to help them complete many of their daily tasks, such as adjudication, prior authorization and workflow. Automated solutions not only help them with providing better care for their patients, but also aid in upgrading their clinical, operational and financial performance.” Brent Stutz, Cardinal Health’s senior vice president of digital health, also underscored pharmacy’s importance in the healthcare realm. “Pharmacists are a critical part of the healthcare ecosystem, driving improved patient outcomes,” he said. “In order for pharmacists’ capabilities to be fully realized, they will need technology tools that empower them to better communicate with payers and providers.” In 2021, Cardinal Health will integrate new solutions into its pharmacy technology platform that will help drive improved connectivity between healthcare stakeholders and provide opportunities for more targeted interventions and optimized medication therapy. “These enhancements will also help to streamline the pharmacy’s workflow by providing a single platform for working outside the script,” Stutz said. The Dublin, Ohio-based company also is investing in new capabilities, leveraging AI and machine-learning models to help pharmacists predict patient adherence so they can intervene to keep the patient on track. “We will be deploying automation capabilities that will enable pharmacists to deliver products directly to their patients, which will help to improve medication adherence and compliance,” said Samantha Hoye, vice president of marketing strategy transformation and execution at Cardinal Health. On the COVID-19 vaccine front, Cardinal Health said it is working to deploy a solution that will help pharmacies streamline their vaccination workflow, with capabilities for medical billing and patient scheduling. dsn

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