As every pharmacist and physician knows, medications only work if patients take them as prescribed—and increasing consistent adherence remains one of the biggest challenges in medicine.
By Annette M. Boyle ROCKVILLE, MD—This summer, the Indian Health Service (IHS) instituted new rules for pharmacists and providers designed to reduce abuse and overuse of opioids, making it one of the first agencies to directly address the burgeoning rates… Read More
According to job site Glassdoor, clinical pharmacists in the U.S. make about $113,000 on average. At the VA, they do a little better, averaging nearly $115,000, based on salaries reported to the site.
CHERRY POINT, NC—Prior to a renovation late last year, patients at Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point’s pharmacy left negative feedback twice as often as positive. Installation of a robotic pharmacy system reversed those numbers, however. Today, two-thirds of comments are upbeat.
HOUSTON — Pharmacists consult the free-text “Notes” field in ambulatory electronic prescriptions (e-prescriptions) for patient and dispensing information that physicians cannot communicate elsewhere.
Study Using Primary Care Providers Touted As Much More Cost-Effective By Annette M. Boyle MINNEAPOLIS — Pioneering use of “point of care” research in a new study at the VA might finally answer the question of whether hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) or… Read More
Pharmacists Take a Lead Role in Increasing Vaccination Rates By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON — An effort in the U.S. Senate to ensure that veterans have access to all recommended immunizations was about as routine as legislation gets, simply clarifying… Read More
An extra minute of patient interaction using the Indian Health Service (IHS) technique more than doubles the likelihood that patients will remember and understand what their new prescription treats, how to take the medication and its possible side effects.
By Annette M. Boyle BOSTON — For many older veterans, the transition from hospital to home can create confusion about which medications to take when. For veterans with cognitive impairment, the challenge increases — and so does the risk of… Read More
It’s a case of bad news-good news: TRICARE beneficiaries, as of Oct. 1, have fewer options for getting certain prescriptions filled, but their costs are lower.
When outpatient pharmacy customer satisfaction scores plunged below 40% on a recent survey, pharmacists in Philadelphia responded with several quality-improvement initiatives and were rewarded with significantly improved ratings.
By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON — Veterans who receive care through the Veterans Choice Program may not have many choices when it comes to prescriptions from those outside providers, but they do have more than those who receive prescriptions from… Read More
PLAINSBORO, NJ – Physicians treating diabetes patients have new weapons in their arsenal. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved Tresiba (insulin degludec injection) and Ryzodeg 70/30 (insulin degludec/insulin aspart injection) to improve glucose control in adults with diabetes mellitus.… Read More
In the bustle of a hectic VAMC emergency department, do healthcare providers always remember which common medications are often problematic for older veterans? Usually not.
In 2012, pharmacists at Hill Air Force Base had 84 direct patient-to-pharmacist clinical interactions a year. Today there are 9,600 patient interactions.
DHA Pharmacy Chief Says “Nefarious Actors” Targeted Beneficiaries By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON — In April, the Defense Health Agency (DHA) spent $18 million a day in compound drug claims. By July, the daily costs had dropped to $360,000 as… Read More
Clinical Pharmacists Help Optimize Medication Use By Annette M. Boyle HONOLULU — A pilot program at Tripler Army Medical Center that manages patients taking multiple drugs appears poised to post a financial return on investment of 5:1. As a result,… Read More
SEATTLE – The most important predictor of chronic postoperative pain after elective knee arthroscopy is preoperative opioid use, according to a single-center retrospective study. Background information in the study, published recently in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia, notes that chronic… Read More
WASHINGTON – After years of assurances that the project is on track, the VA and DoD still struggle to make their emergency medical records interoperable
By Annette M. Boyle FALLS CHURCH, VA – A recent expansion of e-prescribing at all military treatment facility (MTF) pharmacies brings them in line with their civilian counterparts by allowing them to accept electronic prescriptions from providers located off-base. “This… Read More
WASHINGTON – DoD should replace TRICARE with a selection of commercial insurance plans, similar to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, a recent report suggested.
By Annette M. Boyle CHICAGO – Your patient presents with wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. Is it asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or both? The diagnosis and decision about treatment are not so simple, however. In fact, they… Read More