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  • 01/10/2022 12:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Attention pharmacists in Barber, Brown, Butler, Crawford, Cowley, Finney, Harper, Johnson, Kearny, Lyon, McPharson, Montgomery, Neosho, Saline, Sedgwick, Trego, Wilson and Wyandotte counties: KPhA will be offering a series of continuing education classes targeting cardiovascular and diabetes care. The classes include APhA's MTM Services Certificate Training Course (21 hours), KPhA's Clinical Pathway Certificate Training Series (12 hours), and a stand-alone class, Pharmacy's Role in the Care for Prediabetes (1 hour certified for technicians too). These classes are being offered free of charge through funding provided by Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Registration for each of the classes is available at the following:

  • 01/06/2022 12:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Let your voice be heard while engaging with your legislators during KPhA's 2022 Day with the Legislature from 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 20. The backbone of KPhA’s legislative and public policy efforts, the annual Day with the Legislature brings pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and student pharmacists together to engage in face-to-face grassroots advocacy with Kansas lawmakers. Please RSVP so we know how many to expect to be there!

    RSVP Today!

    Legislative Updates
    The 2022 Legislature returned to Topeka on Monday, Jan. 10. If you'd like to receive weekly updates from KPhA Executive Director Aaron Dunkel delivered directly to your inbox, please sign up at here.

  • 01/03/2022 12:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    If you’ve ever found yourself trying to remember the right website or wondering where to look up the answer to your patient’s question while vaccinating, you will find the updated KPhA Immunization Toolkit helpful!

    From links to VAERS forms and fridge temp logs to KPhA designed resources such as how to administer a comfortable vaccine, you will find everything your practice needs to immunize safely and efficiently. 


  • 12/23/2021 12:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Trenton Thiede, PharmD, MBA
    President, PAAS National®

    On Sept. 30, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released guidance regarding the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 Privacy Rule and its application to the workplace, specifically discussing the disclosure and request of COVID-19 vaccination status.

    The Privacy Rule (45 CFR Parts 160 and 164) applies specifically to covered entities (CEs), such as health plans, health care clearinghouses, and health care providers who maintain or transmit individually identifiable health information, called “protected health information (PHI).” The Privacy Rule does not regulate a CE’s or its business associates’ (BA) ability to request the vaccination status of an individual, it regulates how the CE and BAs use and disclose the PHI obtained. The Rule expressly states that a member of the CE’s workforce is not considered a BA and the rule does not prohibit an employer from requesting the vaccination status of its employees, a patient, or a visitor and the Rule does not limit an individual from disclosing their own information to another person. In other words, even though a pharmacy is considered a CE and staff must abide by the Privacy Rule daily when utilizing and disclosing PHI, when the pharmacy is acting in its capacity as an employer the Rule does not regulate its ability to ask employees, customers, or patients about their vaccination status. The employee, customer, or patient might believe they do not have to share this information per HIPAA; however, that is not a valid assertion since HIPAA does not regulate or prohibit an individual from sharing their own information. Outside of HIPAA, there may be other applicable state or federal laws which could overlap HIPAA regulations – refer to your healthcare attorney for additional clarifications.

    Additionally, the Privacy Rule does not dictate what information can be requested of its employees as a condition of employment. Even the federal equal employment opportunity laws do not prevent an employer from requiring staff to be vaccinated before entering the workplace, as long as reasonable accommodations are made per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If an employer maintains confirmation or proof of vaccination, the ADA requires those records be stored separately from the individual’s personnel file. Furthermore, an employer can require each member of its workforce to sign a HIPAA authorization to obtain proof of vaccination directly from a covered health care provider and an employer may require its workforce to disclose their vaccination status to a patient, if asked.

    The Privacy Rule does prohibit a CE and their BAs from using or disclosing an individual’s medical records, including vaccination status, to an individual’s employer or other entity unless the individual approves the request in advance, or the release pertains to treatment, payment, or other healthcare operations (TPO). Unless the individual has restricted the release of their PHI, the pharmacy can share the individual’s vaccination status with entities such as the individual’s primary care provider, their insurance company, and the state immunization database without the patient’s consent. For disclosure to an entity outside TPO, patients must first approve the release of their protected information (including vaccination history). Be sure to keep all HIPAA-related documentation for a minimum of six years.

    PAAS Tips:

    • PAAS Fraud, Waste and Abuse and HIPAA Compliance members, refer to section 10.5 of your Policy and Procedure Manual for additional information regarding the use and disclosure of PHI and Appendix B for the Request to Access or Release Protected Health Information form.
    • Refer to the OCR’s guidance document for additional scenarios, including vaccine records maintained by schools, disclosure to public health authorities, and hospitals releasing PHI relating to an employee’s vaccination status (including documented side effects of the vaccine) to an employer.

    PAAS National® is committed to serving community pharmacies and helping keep hard-earned money where it belongs. Contact us today at (608) 873-1342 or info@paasnational.com to see why membership might be right for you.

    ©2022 PAAS National® LLC All Rights Reserved

  • 12/20/2021 2:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    With the New Year approaching, KPhA is opening the opportunity for members to join the education committee to help shape the programming at the 2022 KPhA Annual Meeting and Trade Show.

    This committee requires a minimal time commitment, which includes occasional noon-hour conference calls as we outline educational topics and potential speakers for the upcoming conference. Planning for the conference's educational sessions will start in January.

    If you'd like to join this committee, please reach out to Jen Clark and let her know of your interest.

  • 12/17/2021 8:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Board of Directors and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Board of Trustees have approved updates to the profession’s Oath of a Pharmacist to incorporate contemporary language and address diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism. The updates were recommended by a joint AACP and APhA Oath Revision Steering Committee and approved by the boards of AACP and APhA at their respective November 2021 meetings.

    “The joint committee led a critical charge of boldly expanding our professional oath to include the necessary elements of equity, inclusion, and diversity. The revised oath charges all pharmacists to take an active responsibility in promoting health equity and commit to being change agents in the system of pharmacy practice and beyond,” said Lakesha M. Butler, PharmD, CDFT, director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy.

    Continue reading at www.pharmacist.com.

  • 12/12/2021 1:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Highlights of Evidence-based Practices to Reduce Point of Sale (POS) Errors

    This article was written by APMS PSO staff in consultation with its Chief Medication Safety Officer, John M. Kessler, BS Pharm., PharmD.

    The pharmacist hangs up the phone in disbelief after hearing from a long-time patient that her husband is in the hospital. He was dizzy and nauseous the night before, and when his wife looked at the Rx vial, she realized that there was someone else’s name on his prescription. The pharmacist’s gut clenches as she wonders, “ We have safety checks, how could we have given a long-time patient the wrong medication?”

    Click here for an APMS Self Assessment Tool

    You are careful, but mistakes happen. This article will summarize four primary strategies to reduce the risk of POS errors and offers some practical suggestions to reduce the chance of an error happening in your pharmacy and reaching the patient.

    Point of Sale (POS) errors are fundamentally defined as “wrong patient” errors due to a mix-up in which prescriptions are bagged and dispensed to a patient. Depending on the pharmacy’s workflow, POS errors can occur when the prescription is handed to the wrong patient or, earlier in the process. For example, when a medication is placed in the wrong patient’s bag, when medications from two or more patients are placed in the same bag, or an intended medicine is omitted from the bag and fails to be dispensed. Additional errors can occur when the bag contains the patient leaflet intended for a different patient. Also, misreading the bag, or the patient identifiers, can result in POS errors. Regardless of the cause, the safety steps to prevent and detect these errors before they reach the patient and cause harm are similar.

    To reduce the chance of a medication error, integrate some of these safety tactics into your pharmacy’s workflow.

    • Establish policies and procedures that focus on preventing error such as standardized workflow with built-in redundancies, checklists, and reminders
    • Automation and implementation of “hard stops”
    • Forcing functions that do not allow advancement of a task without additional verification steps1, including POS bar code verification prior to completing the sale/transfer to the patient. (*Forcing functions are highest on the spectrum of effectiveness while standardization of procedures is ranked moderately high in its ability to prevent errors from reaching the patient*)

    The absence of standardized procedures for the pharmacist, technician, and register clerk results in the inability to expect improvement in rates of POS errors. A shared understanding among the entire pharmacy team of medication safety policies and procedures is key.

    While the pharmacy may have implemented safety checks to prevent mix-ups, the effectiveness of the strategies is only as good as the overall compliance in using each check. Some questions the pharmacist could ask are below:

    • Is everyone in the pharmacy aware of the safety policies and procedures?
    • Are they followed, or have work-arounds and short cuts replaced them in everyday operations?
    • Does the overriding culture in the pharmacy focus on safety or has a competing focus resulted in unconscious support and encouragement of shortcuts and workarounds that deviate from policies and procedures?

    The pharmacy manager or safety officer could conduct discrete direct observations of the actual workflow from receipt of the prescription through dispensing/counseling, noting variations in practice or deviations from standardized procedures.

    Note: Keep in mind that in this article, the use of automated technologies that link the register sale to the dispensing computer, in safety terms, is a “forcing function”. A detailed review of intake and filling errors that occur earlier in the dispensing workflow have been intentionally excluded from this brief POS review.

    Reference
    1. Pharmacy Times. April 1, 2007 Michael J Gaunt, PharmD The Best Error-prevention Tools for the Job

    For more information, or to get your Continuous Quality Improvement program started, call APMS at (866)365-7472 or email info@medicationsafety.org.

    Alliance for Patient Medication Safety © 2020

    The mission of APMS® is to foster a culture of quality within the profession of pharmacy that promotes a continuous systems analysis to develop best practices that will reduce medication errors, improve medication use and enhance patient care. Pharmacies work with APMS® to look for inherent risks in the pharmacy’s workflow. Their program, Pharmacy Quality Commitment +TM (PQC+) is an interactive CQI program that provides tools and resources for the pharmacy workforce to identify, report, and analyze quality-related patient safety events. APMS is a 501 c 3 supporting organization of the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations.

  • 12/03/2021 12:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Kansas is seeing a jump in COVID-19 testing and cases following the Thanksgiving holiday.

    The Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment’s Dec. 1 update showed 4,477 new COVID cases since Monday, and 133 new hospitalizations. Their dashboard did reflect a drop in testing over the four-day holiday weekend, when many sites were closed or shorter-staffed.

    » Continue reading at www.wibw.com.

  • 12/01/2021 1:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Collect Quality-Related Events (QREs) to see what areas have the greatest potential for improvement.

    Consider collecting:

    • Harmful events
    • High-risk situation (near misses) that could have resulted in harm if not caught
    • QREs related to the pandemic such as changes in workflow, staffing levels, and drug shortages
    • All events involving high alert medications
    • Prescriber interventions

    For more information, or to get your Medication Safety and Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) program started, go to https://medicationsafety.org/sign-up.php or give APMS® a call at (866)365-7472.

  • 11/30/2021 3:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Walgreens plans to open a $30 million micro-fulfillment center (MFC) in the Kansas City, Missouri, region next year as the company steps up its investments in MFCs, according to a Nov. 30 press release.

    The MFC announcement is part of Walgreens’ larger move to invest in the future of pharmacy fulfillment, and comes as rival companies like Amazon Pharmacy are pressuring its online business.

    By the end of fiscal year 2022, Walgreens plans to have 11 MFCs serving around 3,900 pharmacies. By 2024, the company aims to have 22 facilities serving 8,500 pharmacies, President John Standley said during an earnings call in October.

    » Continue reading at www.supplychaindive.com.

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