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Q: WiFi applications for prison pharmacies. ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: WiFi applications for prison pharmacies.
Category: Computers > Wireless and Mobile
Asked by: mdoble-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 13 Apr 2004 21:01 PDT
Expires: 13 May 2004 21:01 PDT
Question ID: 329895
I?m  looking for several (>5) white papers, case studies, or articles  on
WiFi application being used for pharmacies inside prisons.  If
information is not available for prisons pharmacies, I would also
accept information for WiFi applications used in other privite

Please note: I need this information by Friday 4/16/04.

Request for Question Clarification by nancylynn-ga on 14 Apr 2004 14:26 PDT
Hello mdoble-ga:

I'm researching your question, and I'm wondering if you're in the U.S.? 

I have found resources on the Web, but I should be able to find
additional information via the EBSCO system's "Clinical Pharmacology"
database. You can access that at your local library. (I can give you
the links and the librarian at your public library will then help you
retrieve that information off the library's computer system. If you
have a barcode on your library card, you can access the information
from any computer.)

As long as you're in the U.S., using EBSCO shouldn't be a problem for you.

I'm aware of your deadline and will try to post an answer for you, ASAP.


Clarification of Question by mdoble-ga on 14 Apr 2004 21:02 PDT
Yes, I am in the US
Subject: Re: WiFi applications for prison pharmacies.
Answered By: nancylynn-ga on 14 Apr 2004 21:52 PDT
Hello mdoble-ga:

Finding information specific to prison pharmacies proved nearly
impossible, but I did manage to find some pertinent research for you.

Here's a case study from Temple University, published in February 2002:

"In the first six months using Allscripts TouchWorks Rx+? software on
wireless Pocket PCs, Temple University Health System physicians
increased their outpatient use of generics from 40 percent to 52
percent of prescriptions. For the 75,000 patients for whom Temple
assumes risk in capitated plans, each new generic prescription saves
an average of about $60 over branded drugs. That adds up to an
expected $500,000 in formulary savings in Year 2 and breaks a pattern
of 20 percent annual jumps in pharmacy costs. Plus e-prescribing's
safety contributed to a 10 percent reduction in Temple's malpractice
rates . . .Temple is realizing its main goal of curbing pharmacy
expense increases for its 75,000 risk lives?and saving enough money so
the system more than pays for itself."

According to this undated press release from Intel, Australia's health
system is reaping the benefits of WiFi:

Scroll down to: "More efficient pharmacy practice:  . . . . Those
devices were initially introduced to reduce the paperwork
back-and-forth involved when pharmacists had to go to patients'
bedsides, copy down patient's new prescriptions, and then take that
paper to the pharmacy for the medicine to be dispensed. Medicine then
had to be carried back to each patient's room.

"Given that pharmacy staff would see more than 200 patients in a
typical day - and needed to stay up to date with information on
thousands of medicines distributed through the hospital - the ability
to access patient and drug information from anywhere in the hospital
has proved indispensable. . . ."

If you have membership in, or subscribe to, the AJHP (American Journal
of Hospital Pharmacists), you can access information at this site:

I typed in the key word "prison" and came up with two promising hits:
"Implementing a performance evaluation system in a correctional
managed care pharmacy" and "Impact of automation on pharmacist
interventions and medication errors in a correctional health care
system," but I can't access them, as I'm not a subscriber.

So I tried using the EBSCO system, which is standard in nearly all
American public libraries.

I found this abstract for an AJHP article "Documenting pharmacist
interventions on an intranet":

Source:American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 1/15/2003, Vol. 60 Issue
2, p151, 5p
Author(s): Simonian, Armen I.
Abstract:The process of developing and implementing an intranet Web
site for clinical intervention documentation is described. An
inpatient pharmacy department initiated an organizationwide effort to
improve documentation of
interventions by pharmacists at its seven hospitals to achieve
real-time capture of meaningful bench-marking data. Standardization of
intervention types would allow the health system to contrast and
compare medication use,
process improvement, and patient care initiatives among its hospitals.
. . . Approximately 91% of staff pharmacists are using this site.
Future plans for this site include enhanced accessibility to the site
with *wireless personal digital assistants* . . . .*
Persistent link to this record:
Database: Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition"

This is the external link to the pdf of article:

Try copying & pasting that in your browser. If it doesn't work, then
go to your local library and show the librarian the abstract posted

If you have a barcode on your library card, then go to your local
library's Web site and look for something like "Access" or "Power
Library." Type in the number from your barcode and when you  bring up
EBSCO click on "Health
Source: Nursing/Academic." Then type "Simonian, Armen I. AND
pharmacists AND Web" into the search box. That will bring up the
article "Documenting pharmacist interventions on an intranet."

Otherwise, you may also have access to back issues of AJHP. Again,
it's the January 15, 2003, edition, Vol. 60 Issue 2.

Health Data Management Magazine -- thankfully, completely accessible
online(!)-- proved to be a very helpful resource regarding pharmacies
and wireless technology:

This August 2001 piece, "Wireless Catching Up, Catching On in Health
Care: Health care organizations are forging ahead with wireless
implementations but confronting some nagging technical and security
hurdles," by Greg Gillespie:
provides a good overview/primer.

"CPOE: Order from Chaos: CPOE systems help reduce medical errors,
improve patient safety and make various health care processes more
efficient. And the number of provider organizations implementing the
systems is on the rise. However, these early adopters are fast
discovering that CPOE presents a variety of challenges, "by Bill
Briggs, in the February 2003 issue:

"A year after Alamance Regional Medical Center made available its
computerized physician order entry system throughout the 238-bed
hospital, administrators conducted a reality check.

"Physicians and other clinicians responsible for medication order
entry were timed with a stopwatch to compare paper-based and
electronic methods.

" 'It took three minutes for computer-entered orders to reach the
pharmacy or other points where meds are dispensed," says Kenneth Fath,
M.D., a cardiologist affiliated with the Burlington, N.C.-based,
not-for-profit community hospital. "It took an average of 96 minutes
using paper.' "

The January 2002 issue of Health Data Management magazine has this
article by Bill Briggs, "Hand-held technology is linking
clinicians-wherever they may roam-to patient data. This is reducing
errors, saving time and increasing revenue":

This article examines the impact of wireless at "Moses Cone Health
System, Greensboro, N.C., a five-hospital delivery system . . . . Some
15 pharmacists were using the hand-held system by December, says Jan
Stafford, a systems analyst at the delivery system and a pharmacist.
The hospital pharmacy purchased eight PDAs that are shared among about
15 pharmacy staff at any given time. . . .Time savings in the Moses
Cone Hospital pharmacy are estimated to be at least 60 minutes a day,
multiplied by 15 pharmacists earning $30 to $50 per hour, says Jenkins
. . . ."

August 2003 issue: "CIOs Make Patient Safety an I.T. Priority CIOs are
using diverse I.T. strategies to help reduce medical errors," by
Beckie Kelly Schuerenberg:

"In January 2002, Covenant Health System implemented integrated
pharmacy and laboratory systems from Raleigh, N.C.-based Misys
Healthcare Systems. The integrated applications enable pharmacists to
make medication decisions
based on a patient's latest lab tests, a huge breakthrough for patient
safety . . . . 'Pharmacists can compare a patient's lab tests with
their medications in real time,' he says. 'If they find a problem,
they can notify a physician or nurse immediately. This is a major
factor in helping prevent adverse drug events. . . . . Without having
a system in place to check drug-drug interactions, distribution of
prescriptions can be a risky business," he says. "This system gets
physicians talking with pharmacists to enhance patient safety.' "

From the July 2001 issue: "I.T. Shores Up Defenses Against Medication
Errors: Provider organizations are using information technology at
different steps in the medication delivery process to help reduce
possible errors," by
Beckie Kelly:

" . . . .Deaconess Billings (Mont.) Clinic realized how vulnerable it
was to potential medication errors. "The 280-bed delivery system
decided to build medication lists into the medication management
application of its computer-based patient records
system. To do so, staff had to manually type handwritten medication
lists into the management application. . . . Deaconess Billings
Clinic's 270 physicians now use the medication management application
to initiate the prescription process . . . ."
" . . . . " 'We were able to remove many of the paper-based steps in
our medication process by implementing different types of I.T.," [says
director of another hospital pharmacy.] "The best way to reduce
medication errors is to have completely integrated information
systems.' "

A White Paper by David Johnston of Hill Associates (IT consulting
firm), published May 2003:

Practical IT Applications in Health Care, :

"Elsewhere in the hospital another nurse dispenses medication to a
patient after using a wireless scanning device (on which pertinent
information was encoded) to ensure that it's the correct medication
and dosage for that patient. Minutes later the patient's doctor
arrives after reviewing the patient's dynamically updated medical
record using a wireless digital assistant. After discussing the
patient's condition the doctor enters her notes and orders additional
medication and physical therapy. These orders are instantly checked
with the pharmacy through a server attached to a wireless LAN and
logged in at the physical therapy department."

That above paper gives a fairly broad overview and doesn't focus just on pharmacy.

Other Resources:

"PDA Use In Pharmacy" Raymond T. Lake, R.Ph., M.S., of the University
of Maryland, published October 2003:

That page is an overview. It says go to:
The Maryland Society of Health-System Pharmacists to view the entire
presentation -- but I can't find it! So, I e-mailed the society for
help, but got an auto-response that the contact person is out of the
office until April 21.

If you want to try to contact Lake, try this site at UMM's Pharmacy School:
(At top right you'll see a 1-800 number and an e-mail link.)

The July 10, 2000, issue of Medical Economics features the cover
story, "Doctors and the Web: Will the Internet finally put an end to
"One laggard, for example, is connectivity with pharmacies, which
would allow doctors to prescribe electronically from a handheld
computer. That's technologically feasible already, and Palm-type
handheld computers are getting cheaper. Yet only a tiny percentage of
physicians are prescribing electronically at this point. More details
must be worked out on matters such as digital authentication before
most pharmacies will accept online scripts. When they do, however,
you'll have an electronic record of every prescription, and you'll
know whether and when it was filled. "

See North Carolina's Department of Corrections' "Technology Plan As Of
August 2002," at:
Or the PDF version, at:

This paper addresses pharmacy technology, but  not in great depth. At
least it provides a basic blueprint for how one state is approaching
the use of technology in its prisons.

The University of Pittsburgh's Health Sciences Library Service has
this guide to wireless applications in pharmacy settings: 


These companies may well have studies/white papers they can fax or e-mail to you.

Symbol Technologies:

1999 press release " Symbol Technologies' Wireless Mobile Computing
Solution Enables Leading Healthcare Systems Vendor To Reduce Patient
Medication Errors": 

***, Inc. holds numerous technology contracts with various
U.S. prisons. See this press release at PR Newswire:

That led me to this 2000 article from Virtual Medical Worlds:
"Medpearl solution helps implement correctional managed Cyb-R-Care
programme in Texas":

The above article chronicles Medpearl's work with UTMB-CMHCP (the
University of Texas Medical Branch Correctional Managed Health care
Plan): " 'We were looking for high-technology solutions which could
meet our significant demands on information resources, in order to
build toward our vision for medicine of the future", explains Leon
Clements, Associate Vice President for Medical Care at UTMB."

I couldn't find a mention of WiFi or wireless in that article, but I
know MedPearl does wireless.

I also couldn't find contact information for MedPearl, which is in the
process of reconstructing its site. But I learned they're partnered
with Well Med:
You can find contact information for Well Med at that page and they
may have white papers they can e-mail or fax to you.

Here's Computer Talk's "Listing of Vendors and Suppliers of Computer
Systems and Related Services for Retail Pharmacies":

Also see Vector:
"Keith Thomas, CEO
Vector Innovations (1445806 Ontario Inc.)

Vector Innovations is an emerging company that provides a complete
wireless technology solution for administering medications in the
underserved $240 Bn Nursing Homes / Long-Term Care. Long-Term Care
(LTC) is a fast growing,
distinct market niche, with substantial unmet demand as 14.8 million
US residents need long-term care. Vector's product solves key market
issues . . . .The product also applies to the Assisted Living,
Mentally Challenged, and *Prison* markets.
Vector's key product, MedPass+ (Medication Administration) was
designed and built with key facility, pharmacy and software providers
and is being patented with U of T assistance. . . ."

Vector may also be able to supply you with some research material. 

Sourcebook Solutions:

Search Strings:

WiFi prison pharmacy
WiFi AND "prison pharmacy"
WiFi AND pharmacy AND "white paper"
WiFi +pharmacy "white paper
"prison pharmacies" +wireless
wireless applications prison pharmacies
"wireless applications" AND prison AND pharm*
"wireless pharmacies"
"prison pharmacists" AND WIFI
"prison pharmacy" AND wireless OR WIFI
healthcare" AND wireless
prison pharmacy wireless technology
pharmacy AND WLAN
prison AND "WIFI applications"

I hope my research is of help to you. Please post a "Request For
Clarification" if you need help navigating any of the above links, or
if you require clarification, prior to rating my answer.


Clarification of Answer by nancylynn-ga on 15 Apr 2004 07:45 PDT
Pharmacist Stanley J. Lloyd, of The journal of Pharmacy Technology,
just replied to my e-mail. He recommends that you check out:
"ZixCorp in Mason, Ohio: 
With their PocketScript software, they have been a pioneer in wireless

I went to ZixCorp's site and found a long list of articles and press
releases pertaining to the company's wireless pharmacy tools and the
success health care systems have had with them:

Those articles include:

"Mobile Health Data: October 22, 2003: Docs Use PDAs Down on the Farm: 
Physicians at the ambulatory outpatient clinics operated by Perdue
Farms Inc. will use PDA-based electronic prescription software from
Dallas-based Zix Corp . . . ."

The Washington Times: October 22, 2003: "Q&A: Zix e-prescribing making inroads."

Health Data Management: March 01, 2003: "HIPAA?s Long and Winding Road."

PharmaLive: July 23, 2003: "Tufts Health Plan and Zix Corporation
Announce Alliance to Provide Wireless Prescribing to Massachusetts
Physicians; Replacing pen and paper improves prescribing safety and
reduces medical costs . . . ."

Links to those articles appear to the right of the citations at:

If you need further information, Mr. Lloyd suggests you contact  Dan
Gibbons at ZixCorp's Ohio Office: 866-864-8444.
Subject: Re: WiFi applications for prison pharmacies.
From: jbf777-ga on 14 Apr 2004 19:37 PDT
Question Unlocked for Nancylynn-ga

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