Blog | July 6, 2017

Secure Messaging & HIE in the Long-Term Care Market

In an effort to keep our customers apprised of the latest technology trends in the pharmacy market, our industry experts compiled an article for the May/June edition of ComputerTalk. In case you missed the article, here it is in its entirety:

In Long-Term Care Pharmacy, Direct Secure Messaging and Health Information Exchange (HIE) are rapidly emerging technologies.  As participants in the U.S. healthcare system, each time we visit a health care provider, pharmacy, or community service provider, data is created about details of the encounter. Until now, this information was held by each provider independently. With HIE, all this information can be aggregated into one continuity of care document (CCD) and securely sent between providers and patients.

Direct Secure Messaging in combination with HIE technology will enable:

  • Private and secure patient communication and information
  • Improved quality, safety, efficiency, and reduced health disparities
  • Improved care coordination, and population health management

Enablement and Engagement:

Fundamentally, the impact of Direct and HIEs is much broader than simple connectivity. The electronic sharing of health information aids in the management of data exchanged, and strives to reduce duplication of services and operational costs.

HIE technology will enable an individual to establish a defined care team and utilize real-time, event-driven, bi-directional communication. Members of the care team, including the institutional pharmacy, can receive real-time notifications of events including: life events, change in condition, medication errors, transitions, facility changes, adverse reactions, illness, hospitalization, behavior change, and more. This enables the LTC pharmacist to play a significant consultative role in each patient’s polypharmacy while still managing the dispensing workflow.

Traditionally in Long-Term Care, transport of patient records has been done by fax or courier service. With HIE and Direct Secure Messaging, patients can move seamlessly from a hospital to a facility, with the discharge notice sent securely, via Direct Messaging, over the public internet. That discharge notice could contain the patient diagnosis, medical history, and all documentation needed, in one message.

Benefits for the LTC Pharmacy:

  • Savings through the elimination of phone lines and fax services
  • Secure email transport for:
    • Patient record updates, order clarifications, Refill Too Soons, insurance information, approvals, medication authorizations, therapeutic interchanges, and more
  • Improved workflow with:
    • Compliant use of email platforms such as Outlook with a Direct email address
    • Standardized continuity of care documents
    • Real-time notifications during transitions of care, life events, and health status changes
    • Consolidated content and information management in one central repository
  • Potential savings opportunities:
    • 90/10 Innovation Pool: Reimbursement up to 90% for innovation not funded through Meaningful Use
    • State Innovation Model (SIM funds): For pilot programs to implement new technologies
    • New revenue through consulting and medication therapy management (MTM) programs.
    • Talk to your technology lender or Medicaid Director to understand options.

How to get started:

Pharmacies should talk to their clients, payers, and physicians that are servicing their patients. Many of these may already have Secure Messaging in place via Direct. With 1.5 million addresses already certified, the participating pool is growing rapidly.

The basic entry point for Institutional Pharmacies is the set-up of Direct Secure Messaging. Once you have certified Direct email addresses, you can take the next step in tapping into the growing network. Talk to your technology providers today to learn more about Direct and HIE, and to ensure they are moving their technologies along this critical path.

Related Terms:

Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) will become the infrastructure and vehicle for data sharing among provider practices and health systems through the Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN).

Health Information Service Provider (HISPs) are organizations that manage the security and exchange of protected health information and provides Direct email addresses to registered users.

Direct is a national encryption standard for securely exchanging healthcare data via the Internet. Also known as the Direct Project, Direct Exchange, and Direct Secure Messaging, it specifies the secure, scalable, and standards-based method for the exchange of Protected Health Information (PHI).

Blog | June 30, 2017

Connecting and Networking in Anacortes

Once a year, our sales team comes to Anacortes for a week of meetings, training, and networking. Since they live in different states so they can be close to the pharmacies in their territories, we work hard to ensure our sales staff feels connected to their co-workers at corporate headquarters.

“These meetings are incredibly beneficial in helping educate our sales reps on the latest product features and company information,” says Jim McDonald, Integra’s National Sales Director. “It also serves as a time for us to reconnect with the staff in admin, support, client services, finance, and marketing who we work with on a daily basis.”

During these meetings, product directors and managers give presentations on their products and departments, providing a look ahead at where product development is going. They discussed the challenges faced by pharmacies in today’s market and shared the unique ways in which pharmacies are using Integra products to meet those challenges. With a shared goal of providing the best possible service to current and potential customers, on-site staff and the sales team view this past week’s meetings as a success.

“What I took away most from this week was not only product knowledge but the relationships with co-workers that I was able to enhance,” said Tony Chambrovich, Sales Manager for the Northeast.

Blog | June 22, 2017

Don’t Miss Out on Your Free Smartphone!

Now is the time to start the conversation. DeliveryTrack is the leading delivery management solution in the LTC market. And the best part is it’s customized to your pharmacy and your processes. DeliveryTrack can help you save money, bring more accountability to your delivery processes, and provide better service to your customers. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what a few of the 150 pharmacies who use DeliveryTrack have to say:

“We use the proof of delivery the most…it saves us a lot of time and aggravation in terms of looking for signed delivery sheets.” ~Boris Natenzon, Owner – Vitacare Pharmacy

“What really paid for DeliveryTrack was when we had an audit. We used to spend 60 hours of prep time; our prep time is now minutes. All the delivery signatures end up in DocuTrack where we can use audit assist to pull the prescriptions and delivery signatures with a single search.”  ~Jamie Williams, IT Manager & Mike Sauer, Technology Manager – Williams Apothecary

“Now we can track our drivers. We know where they are. We know how long it takes them to get from one facility to the next. And we can modify our routes based on that. So it’s really invaluable to us on our workflow and the processes from beginning to end.”  ~Amy Cruse, Operations Manager – AmPharm, Inc.

“We have instant knowledge of the delivery and instant access to the original documents. And that’s very important. It makes your customer service much stronger and makes you look much more professional in the eyes of your customer.”  ~Michael Kaplan, President – Medic Pharmacy

Let us show you how DeliveryTrack can meet your specific needs and work for your pharmacy, by scheduling a demo. And, if you schedule a demo in June, we’ll include a free Android smartphone with your purchase of DeliveryTrack. Call (866) 257-4279 or email sales@integragroup.com. To learn more, visit www.getdeliverytrack.com.

Blog | June 20, 2017

See DeliveryTrack in Action!

Android devices. Real-time tracking. Signature capture. All admittedly cool features. But have you ever wanted to see how DeliveryTrack works? Start by watching the video, then go to getdeliverytrack.com to sign up for your free demo so you can see exactly why DeliveryTrack is the best delivery solution for long-term care pharmacies.

Blog | June 15, 2017

We’re Growing! See Our Building Addition

We are pleased and excited to announce the beginning of construction on an additional building to our corporate headquarters. Over the past few years, we’ve grown so much that we are out of space. The new building will double our workspace so we can comfortably accommodate our current staff, and have room for continued growth.

“This new facility will provide us much-needed space to better serve our customers,” said Kevin Welch, President of Integra. “Downtown Anacortes has served us well as a base of operations, and we are pleased to be able to expand our presence at our current location.”

In the image above, our current facility is on the far right. A skybridge, the first in the San Juan Islands, will connect the two structures. The new building is slated for completion at the end of 2017.

Keep an eye on our progress with the building webcam.

Blog | June 8, 2017

Signatures Up Front: DeliveryTrack and Audits

“Now we don’t even have to fight [audits] because we have the signatures up front.”

THE PROBLEM

Williams Apothecary would spend 60-80 hours prepping for an audit. With 30 days’ notice, they would find the highest priced prescriptions being audited and arrange them in advance, so they could find the requested audit prescriptions along with the signatures in the few hours the auditor spent on site.

“I would literally pull up every prescription box,” said Jamie Williams, IT Manager at Williams Apothecary, “approximating 40 or 50 boxes for the time period in question, and arrange them in the office where the auditor would perform the audit. When the auditor arrived we would assign three or four people pulling whatever the auditor would request for the prescription audit.”

“We didn’t lose a lot of money on audits because we spent the time preparing, collecting signatures, and producing the needed information for the audits,” said Mike Sauer, Technology Manager at Williams Apothecary. “But that prep time and follow-up time researching and producing signatures would take hours. We also spent time replacing the pulled files back into storage. And that work would start after your day job tasks were done.”

THE SOLUTION

Before DeliveryTrack, Williams Apothecary used DocuTrack and QS/1® PrimeCare® to find prescriptions. While they were able to save time during audits by searching in DocuTrack for a date range instead of having to go through each page manually or providing boxes of signatures to the auditor, audits were still cumbersome. “Until we started with DeliveryTrack,” Williams said, “it was still a bit of a hassle finding delivery signatures since we had several hundred deliveries per day to search through.

“What really paid for DeliveryTrack was we had an audit on our cycle med fill prescriptions. The auditor said in their letter that they wanted $50,000 back. The auditor wasn’t correct and because he did not understand our process, he wasn’t taking our documentation on our cycle fill medication. When we showed and explained our system, the auditor accepted our signatures and we ended up 100% compliant with no loss of revenue.”

RESULTS

“The time savings are immense,” said Williams. “What we used to spend possibly 80 hours’ worth of prep time, is now minutes. And when the auditor shows up – as far as signatures go – we can get those in a matter of minutes. During our last audit, Mike had a pile of signatures needed for the audit. He pulled and printed all the signatures we needed within 15 minutes.”

“We used to have to fight auditors on their recoupment,” said Sauer. “Now we don’t even have to fight it because we have the signatures up front.”

Read the full case study here.

Blog | June 1, 2017

Check Out Our New DocuTrack Video

We have new media! You’ll see more in the next few weeks, but here’s a little taste of what’s to come.

DocuTrack. The number 1 workflow management system in the industry. Everyone knows what it is; everyone knows it’s the best. We know it’s good, but don’t take our word for it! Hear it directly from our customers: “DocuTrack is probably the best piece of software we have implemented.”