In our 9th episode of the PharmacyNow podcast, our host Scott Vondeylen is joined by Kevin Boesen, PharmD, Chief Sales Officer at Tabula Rasa HealthCare, to discuss how new technology is enhancing medication safety and empowering pharmacists with tools to make a more meaningful impact on patient health – regardless of the setting.
Here are some of the key episode takeaways:
More medications = more healthcare costs
Numerous studies show that the more medications a patient takes, the more money is spent on the problems they cause. Due to unintended consequences of adverse drug events, the majority of these costs are related to ER visits and hospitalizations, as well as prescribing cascades as a result of the need for additional medications to help alleviate side effects. As a result, medication safety is a $500 billion problem in this country.
Current medication safety technology isn’t cutting it
Today’s patients are taking more medications than ever before, and the current systems pharmacists use are no longer appropriate for preventing drug interactions. It’s impossible for pharmacists to quickly see how multiple medications are impacting the body on a molecular level. It takes research to understand the potential accumulative effects of multiple medications or look into all the pathways that a patients’ drugs and supplements take. For patients 65 years and over and for those with chronic conditions, this can be a particularly dangerous scenario.
MedWiseTM: a new medication safety technology
Scott and Kevin discuss MedWise, a new pharmacist software that can assess and predict a patient’s potential medication interactions. This technology provides a matrix that empowers pharmacists with a view that never existed before – it gives a unique look into how patients’ drugs compete and delivers a personalized risk score. Rather than shifting through pages of data, this tool empowers pharmacists to quickly understand a patient’s potential risk. MedWise analyzes the cumulative risk of prescribed medications, as well as over-the-counter drugs and supplements.
The future of pharmacy
Kevin predicts a greater role for pharmacists as primary healthcare providers. Currently, our country has a void for healthcare specialists, and pharmacists will fill that void – helping patients with general assessments and ongoing monitoring, particularly for those with chronic conditions. The pharmacist’s role is already changing and growing, especially as they continue to embrace emerging technologies and the popularity and convenience of telehealth.