How Pharmacists Are Embracing New Technologies
The world of PharmaTech is always advancing, and sometimes, it can be difficult to keep up with all the new tech. However, pharmacists often base their livelihood on the latest tech simply because it helps them do their job better and faster.Much of the latest tech is designed to reduce user error and improve security when it comes to providing medications and drugs to customers. By embracing technology, pharmacists ensure their patients continue to take their medications and are receiving the correct dosages. It’s impossible for one person to keep all the pharmacy information in their head, so having technology as a backup can save lives.
The Worth of a Pharmacist
Pharmacists are often underrated or considered to be just barely trained workers who count out pills. However, they are highly trained and educated, with a solid knowledge of how drugs work and interact. It may not be possible to remember every detail of every medication, but they are very familiar with all the usual medications and quite a few that are less popular.Pharmacists have a range of responsibilities, beyond simply counting medication. They:
- Manage medicine quality.
- Monitor the lawful supply of medication.
- Check that prescribed medications are suitable for the patient.
- Advise patients on how to take medication.
- Ensure patients continue to take their medication.
- Provide information on side effects.
- Answer patient questions on medications.
- Provide information to other healthcare professionals.
- Educate patients and healthcare professionals on safe medicine use.
- Discuss patient symptoms.
- Provide information on sales and medications available.
- Provide services that include quitting smoking, measuring blood pressure and managing cholesterol.
- Supervise prepping and production of medications.
- Supervise the supply chain for medications.
- Ensure the pharmacy is fit for use.
They may work in a regular pharmacy, a hospital, pharmaceutical sales, pharmaceutical production, prison, military, veterinary and primary care clinics, and they may even teach or research in universities. In short, pharmacists are far more than pill counters. The more PharmaTech they use, the more patients they can help and the faster they can complete one area of their job so they can focus on the others.
PharmaTech: What Technology Has to Offer
Just what kind of technology are pharmacists using? That depends on the person and the pharmacy or workplace, of course. However, there are a few specific areas of tech that are commonly used by pharmacists.
Apps and Software
There are so many apps available to use in the pharmacy. The vast majority are apps that provide access to a medication database. They may offer a full listing for each medication, which should include the generic version of the drug, all active ingredients, what the side effects are, whether there are any interactions with other drugs or supplements and so on. These can be invaluable if the pharmacist comes across a medication they are not familiar with.These PharmaTech apps allow the pharmacist to look through the information and determine if there is anything the patient needs to know. When they tell you about a side effect, for example, it helps you understand what is considered normal when taking the medication, as well as when you should consider calling a doctor. The pharmacist can also use the dosage information in the app to suggest proper dosage amounts to a health care worker or to create adjustments as permitted.If someone takes a supplement or another medication, the pharmacist can check to see if there are any interactions that could have deadly or dangerous consequences and advise accordingly. These apps are very helpful for keeping people safe.Software is also available to predict medication errors and to manage the various aspects of tracking inventory and even finances. There are quite a few options when it comes to apps and software for computers.
Devices and Machines
Often, PharmaTech goes beyond the apps and makes it easier for a pharmacist to do their job by providing machines or devices that take over part of the mundane. For example, the central fill automation machine sorts and fills high volumes of medications, meaning the pharmacist may focus on other areas of their job. This also reduces costs for the pharmacy or clinic and ensures the medication is dispensed in record time, as well as very accurately.In some cases, there are pharmacist machines that can be used directly by the patient. The pharmacist simply scans the bag and loads the medication into the machine. The patient will input their unique pin number to receive their medication. The payment can be made right at the machine and counseling is offered if they would like to talk to a pharmacist, which is made possible via phone.Automated dispensing cabinets are also used in many hospitals, to speed up the entire process. Nurses may collect unit dose medications once it has been verified by the pharmacist. When it comes to Pharmatech, this is a good way to eliminate wait times and crowded windows.
Another area that PharmaTech is venturing into is AI. With all the information collected by a pharmacy, AI can easily scan it all and pick up on bits of data that the pharmacist might miss. For example, the AI may note that someone has not had a refill in time. This would indicate that the person is no longer taking their medication and can prompt a call to the patient.It’s possible in some cases to identify high-risk patients who are more likely to skip medications. With these people flagged, the pharmacist can sit down and discuss the importance of taking the medication regularly and schedule check-ins to help the patient continue with their medication.There are many areas of PharmaTech that can be helpful to a pharmacist, no matter what area they work in. With the help of additional technology, the pharmacist will find it easier and safer to do their job.¥