HealthOctober 30, 2019

In the news: Pharmacists find benefits in AI, automation, and tech advancements

Developments in healthcare technology and informatics have played an important role in the advancement of the field of pharmacy and the role of pharmacists. In the recent article “How Pharmacists Are Embracing New Technologies,” Drug Topics asked a variety of experts to weigh in on how they saw HIT impacting everything from patient engagement, to medication adherence, to pharmacogenomics.

Among those interviewed was Rachael Fisher, PharmD, senior clinical implementation analyst for Wolters Kluwer, Health, and a specialist in drug allergy and interaction screening.

Fisher noted in the article that AI can be a valuable tool for pharmacists, particularly when it comes to monitoring and preventing opioid misuse. AI can help process information from sources such as nationwide databases and prescription histories to identify red flags among both patients and prescribers. It can also be used to help pharmacists assess compliance with various state opioid laws, she said. “The environment is ever changing; AI can help providers be more vigilant, effective, and improve overall opioid monitoring and safety.”

Fisher also discussed automation, noting that as pharmacy dispensing progressed along this path, pharmacists would need to continue to adapt. “As dispensing machines and systems become smarter, the whole process will be mostly automated with minimal clinical oversite,” she said. That will mean pharmacists’ focus may turn increasingly to areas such as medication therapy management and patient education.

For more, read the full Drug Topics article.

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