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Data and the Future of the Healthcare Ecosystem

by Elie Khalife, president, KeyCentrix

Data has always been a part of the healthcare ecosystem. Although it’s been collected inconsistently in the past, technology has helped advance the gathering, storing and needs for this data today. For decades healthcare professionals had worked independently to collect and aggregate data, but the calling for advancements in the healthcare industry required better interaction for all of healthcare’s actors including, but not limited to, drug manufacturers, prescribers, pharmacies and patients. Continuous improvements in technology facilitated and promoted this collaboration while providing even better outcomes for the industry and patients alike. These advancements and outcomes in healthcare now grow exponentially, and patient data is the new driving force.

Data in the Healthcare Ecosystem

The Need for Data

In 1972, with the distribution of methadone, the first drug was required to have data tracking and controlled distribution from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Now fast forward to 2005, an interesting year for drugs and pharmacies in general, the FDA started to demand more data points from drug manufacturers regarding new drug therapies in clinical trials and maintaining patents for existing blockbuster drugs. In turn, drug manufacturers required more process controls and limited the distribution to a select number of pharmacy locations that were capable of handling the collection of the expected data needed. This started a new trend of limited distribution drugs (LLD’s) Read full article >



EMV Implementation Tips

As more and more industries enter the EMV realm, there are both joys and challenges of having the EMV option. Customers and business owners can enjoy the security of EMV chip-cards to reduce fraud by protecting against loss from counterfeit stolen cards. Customers and business owners must also adapt to this new way to pay. When EMV is available to your business, know your device and teach your staff about it so they can help customers through the steps of an EMV transaction.

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Cards with a mag-stripe and an EMV-chip will exist simultaneously until all merchants have EMV-capable devices and until all banks replace all existing mag-stripe cards issued to their customers with an EMV chip. Some devices have the EMV terminal slot, but it doesn’t function.

TIP: If you have a non-functioning terminal, make a sign or insert a placeholder to let customers know if EMV is not available. Some examples of sayings are, “Please swipe card,” “Swipe card here – Chip card functionality coming soon,” or “Please swipe; Do not insert card.”

Because the cards in use today have both a chip and a stripe, people may swipe their card first out of habit. If EMV is enabled on the device, it will reject the swipe and tell the user to insert their card instead. Once a person inserts their card (also called “dipping”) with the chip-end first, facing up, they need to wait to remove it until prompted to do so. While the card is inserted into the terminal, the chip Read full article >



Back It Up: A Look At Flash Drive & Off-Site Data Backup Options

Can you put a price on your data? Probably not, but if you lost it, you’d probably give anything to get it back. While it’s not the end of the world if data is lost due to nature, human error, or malicious acts, it is a headache that could have been prevented by proper backups either onsite, offsite, or both.

Depending on the volume at your pharmacy, a simple flash drive could suffice to house your pharmacy management software data and point of sale system data backups. There are multiple sizes of flash drives available on the market at affordable prices. For example, a 128GB SanDisk Flash Drive is available for less than $20 on Amazon.com. Select flash drives based on the size of your data base; if you are not sure what size you need, check with your IT department or ask your software provider for their recommendation.

To make remembering backups an easy task, set them to be automatic if the option is available. Just set the location of the flash drive in the software when configuring the auto-backups. Make sure the flash drive is plugged in when backing it up.

Another recommendation is to have multiple flash drives and switch them out at an interval of your choice. The ideal scenario would be to have one flash drive for each day of the week that is rotated daily. Other scenarios could be two flash drives switched daily, or you could have four or five flash drives that are rotated each week of the month. The reason for having multiple flash drives in use is to make sure Read full article >