Magazine article Drug Topics

Pharmacy IT Product, SoftRx, Helps Hospitals Cut Rx Errors

Magazine article Drug Topics

Pharmacy IT Product, SoftRx, Helps Hospitals Cut Rx Errors

Article excerpt

HEALTH-SYSTEM EDITION

TECHNOLOGY

In its first venture into the pharmaceutical information technology (IT) arena, Soft Computer Consultants (SCC) unveiled its pharmacy IT solution, SoftRx, at the 2002 Health Information and Management Systems Society Conference in January in Atlanta. "Our goals were to create a system to reduce medication errors, increase productivity and workflow, and improve and enhance the quality assurance of pharmacy practice," explained Maher Ebeid, R.Ph., SoftRx team leader.

The SCC team partnered with Micromedex, which provides a drug interaction database that is actually built into the SoftRx system to provide an extensive drug screening mechanism. In addition, the SoftRx product can incorporate hospital-specific protocols and includes user-defined interactions and a rules-based system (RBS). The RBS works in conjunction with Micromedex and user drug interaction rules and can be applied to patients, stays, orders, drugs, and actions, which can help facilities gain greater control over patient safety and drug dispensing issues, said Ebeid. For example, through this program, pharmacists can even restrict certain drugs for certain patients if necessary.

SoftRx is now in beta testing at Coshocton County Memorial Hospital in Coshocton, Ohio. The system is set to go live in April. "We feel this system is going to provide better flexibility for our pharmacists and pharmacy techs," said Rob Rizk, director of information systems for Coshocton. "Also, it will allow us to integrate our pharmacy with the SoftLab system that we already have in place by SCC. And, strategically, in our advanced rollout of this product, we will be able to interface with our Affinity order management system, now being used by all of our ancillary departments, as well as our medication charting application for documentation."

Rick Brewer, regional sales director for the Palm Harbor, Fla.-based SCC, known for its laboratory and radiology IT products, said the market is now ripe for a pharmacy product of this nature. "From a pharmacy information system perspective, the market seems to be shrinking," he noted. "There are not a lot of [pharmacy IT products] out there and not a lot of new ones coming into the marketplace. We've done a lot of research into this product."

One key feature of the system is its unlimited free-text note fields, which enhance the RPh. …

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