Dispense Works to launch with AMT and a triple whammy

Queensland-headquartered point-of-sale technology specialist POS Works has launched a new pharmacy dispensing system on the market called Dispense Works, featuring natively integrated Australian Medicines Terminology (AMT) and the ability to detect and warn of 'triple whammy' drug interactions.

Entering a market dominated by players such as Fred Dispense, Simple's Aquarius and Symbion's Minfos, the team behind Dispense Works has put a lot of effort into embedding clinical decision support and clinical references all in the one application to improve workflow for pharmacists and staff.

The new system, demonstrated at the Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference (APP15) on the Gold Coast at the weekend, also includes connectivity with the Healthcare Identifiers Service and the PCEHR, in addition to eScript dispensing.

POS Works' informatics pharmacist Andrew Griffin said the new dispense system is the only product that he's aware of that is capable of identifying and warning pharmacists of 'triple whammy' drug interactions, such as a combination of an ACE inhibitor with a diuretic and an NSAID.

Mr Griffin said the system had the ability to screen three drugs collectively at the point of dispense for known adverse interactions, rather than just two, and it can do this for locally dispensed medicines as well as screened from medicines data in the patient's PCEHR.

“When we began the project, identifying a source for our clinical content and decision support was one of the first things we looked at,” Mr Griffin said. “All of the products that I was able to assess were only capable of screening pairs of drugs. They could screen multiple pairs of drugs, but only as individual pairs. Dispense Works has no limit on the number of drugs that can be screened concurrently.”

The new Dispense Works system is the first dispense module for the company. It is also probably the first dispense system that has the AMT implemented natively, which Mr Griffin said would ensure the accurate transfer of medicines information via eScripts and from the National Prescription and Dispense Repository (NDPR).

“Other systems would have to map their existing drug files to the AMT which would take a certain amount of work to establish and maintain,” he said.

“We’ve found it quite useful being able to build a drug file from scratch using the AMT at the heart of it.”

In addition to eHealth capability, Dispense Works has been designed to improve pharmacy workflow, both in the software and the hardware. It contains integrated clinical reference sources including MIMS Integrated, the Australian Medicines Handbook and LactMed so pharmacists have access from within the software to the references they are required to have on hand in electronic or paper format as well as third-party sites.

“Our idea is to bring as much information as we can into the dispense system so it is there right when the pharmacist needs it,” he said.

The system has been designed for touchscreens and incorporates gestures to deliver workflow improvements and provide easy access to reference materials. It also has fingerprint identification capability to ensure reliable authentication of users on shared workstations.

Mr Griffin said most pharmacies would currently use keyboard shortcuts when dispensing rather than a mouse, but with touchscreens and gestures, it means the pharmacist doesn't have to remember a specific series of keystrokes in order to complete particular tasks.

The fingerprint identification capability involves an optical fingerprint reader that sits on the bench, or there are alternatives that are built into the keyboard.

“The pharmacy registers a fingerprint profile for each user and then whenever particular actions are performed, the user scans their fingerprint and the system will know who has done what. We’re able to track a prescription to identify whether it has been prepared by a dispensary technician or if it’s been checked by a pharmacist.

“Where we can deliver workflow improvements, we've put a lot of thought into being able to do so.”

In terms of eHealth capability, Mr Griffin said eScript functionality was now a given in pharmacies. “We’ve built our system on the expectations that eScripts are going to be the way of the future,” he said. “For pharmacists, eScripts just fit in the workflow.”

POS Works has been supplying both the retail and the pharmacy sectors with its point-of-sale and head office product for a number of years, and currently interfaces with whatever dispensing system an individual pharmacy is using.

Dispense Works is due for release later this year.

Posted in Allied Health

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