Cardinal Health Helps Hospitals Efficiently Order, Store, and Dispense Drugs
Cardinal Health is partnering with hospitals nationwide to help them simplify the way that they purchase and dispense medications. The process of ordering, storing, and dispensing drugs at hospitals is extremely complex, with multiple personnel involved in getting pharmaceuticals to the patient bedside. Cardinal Health analyzes a hospital's entire medication-use process to help staff gain a comprehensive view of their entire medication-use process. Hospitals then integrate key products and services from Cardinal Health to simplify medication management and maximize safety, efficiency, and cost savings.

Normally, various departments manage different steps within the medication-use process. For example, the purchasing department might order pharmaceuticals from a wholesaler, the pharmacy department would receive the pharmaceuticals and be filling physician orders, and the nursing staff would administer the medications to patients. Each department would focus on its specific area. As a result, any process change in one area might unknowingly create an issue for the other departments.

Nine hospitals, including Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Memorial Hermann, Nebraska Medical Center, Ochsner Medical Center, Oregon Health & Science University, St Joseph's Orange, and SSM St. Anthony Hospital, will employ Cardinal Health technologies, services, and expertise to improve their hospitals' processes for medication management.

"Ochsner Medical Center has long been a leader in providing the very highest level of care, but we continue to push ourselves to take quality, safety, and efficiency to the next level," said Warner Thomas, president and chief operating officer, Ochsner Health System. "Cardinal Health's experts have helped us take a more strategic approach to how we manage our medications across our entire hospital, which will lead to even safer and more efficient delivery of medications to our patients."

"Cardinal Health is focused on leveraging the process, technology, information, and expertise across our company and provide the best overall solution for our customers," said Jon Zimmerman, general manager of medication solutions. "By combining our pharmaceutical procurement and logistical solutions with our automated dispensing cabinets, smart IV pumps, bedside barcode patient identification technologies, and our expertise in the medication-use process, we provide true end-to-end medication management capabilities for hospitals."

Cardinal Health's technologies and services help hospitals improve patient safety and protect them from medication errors; improve the quality of care by reducing the administrative workload on pharmacy and nursing so they can spend more time caring for patients; meet their compliance initiatives by streamlining information and process flows; optimize procurement practices to minimize spending and control costs; and achieve rapid results by facilitating ease of implementation and ongoing operations.

Iris BioTechnologies Introduces Nano-Biochip for Breast Cancer

Iris BioTechnologies focuses on diagnostic therapy for individual patients based on their genomic profile. The California-based company has developed the Nano-Biochip, which is a special silicon microchip that identifies the most effective treatment options for patients based on their gene expression.

The company is planning to launch its first Nano-Biochip, the BreastCancerChip, in 2008. Breast cancer is thought to be caused by abnormal gene alterations at the cellular level, as well as by lifestyle and environmental factors. These genetic changes are unique to each person and should be treated individually. The BreastCancerChip captures vital molecular data from a biopsy sample and compares this information with more than 100 gene markers for the cancer.

Today, most health care providers make medical decisions with minimal insight into the molecular nature of a patient's disease. "With Iris's BreastCancerChip, women and their physicians will have the benefit of knowing, in advance, which therapies have worked best for other patients with similar gene profiles," said Simon Chin, CEO and founder. "This knowledge could be the difference between life and death in some cases and a better quality of life for all patients."

Once processed, the information from the biochip creates an optical pattern that is analyzed by BioWindows, the company's predictive medicine platform. The BioWindows database also allows patients to confidentially enter personal information (i.e., medical history including hereditary, environmental, and lifestyle factors), through a comprehensive online survey. Combined with the patients' genomic profiles, the BioWindows system helps clinicians and researchers select an optimal form of treatment and monitor its effectiveness.

In addition to the BreastCancerChip, Iris BioTechnologies is currently developing chip-based products for neurologic diseases, metabolic disorders, and other cancers, as well as for possible agricultural, veterinary, and environmental applications. The company went public in December 2007.

Picaso System to Support Pharmaceutical Company's Improvement Initiative
WAM Systems, which created the Picaso supply chain system, has been chosen by global drug delivery and specialty pharmaceutical company Banner Pharmacaps, Inc., to support its process and tool-set improvement initiative. The Picaso system is the key element of the initiative, whose focus encompasses production scheduling, operational visibility, collaboration, and efficiency.

The Picaso Supply Chain Planning Solution is a fully integrated suite of planning and optimization modules that was designed to meet process manufacturers' specific requirements. The system will integrate with Banner Pharmacaps' ERP/MRP systems and support real-time scheduling, collaborating, and reporting. Picaso's Supply Chain Event Monitor, Demand Planning, Production Scheduling, Procurement Planning, Customer Service Workstation, Inventory Targeting, and Sales & Operation modules will be used.

A multistage installation process will be employed for the operational-improvement initiative. The initiative will concentrate on improving visibility; reducing cycle times and working capital; eliminating redundancy in information management; improving customer focus and collaboration; and improving labscheduling management.

"We are pleased to be able to support Banner Pharmacaps in its efforts to improve operational efficiency," WAM Systems CEO, Jack Weiss, stated. "By working closely with their team, we believe that our business process expertise combined with the flexibility of Picaso will enable them to quickly realize the refinements that are the focus of their efforts."

ScriptPro's Guides Help Pharmacy Professionals Select the Right Automation System
ScriptPro announced that the Technology Evaluation Guide, Volume II: Pharmacy Workflow Systems is now available. ScriptPro offers this guide to help pharmacy professionals compare and evaluate workflow systems. It is designed with the same purpose as the previously released Technology Evaluation Guide, Volume I: Robotic Prescription Dispensing Systems--to help the pharmacist boil down the process of finding the right automation. Both guides are workbooks with detailed tables outlining key questions to ask vendors when selecting automation systems.

The benefits of adding pharmacy automation include lowering operating costs, reducing the potential for errors, and freeing pharmacists and staff to provide counseling and customer service, according to ScriptPro. Finding the right solution can be a big task, which is why the guides for workflow and robotic dispensing distill the information into easy to understand sections to help pharmacists make informed decisions for their pharmacy.