PORTLAND, Ore. -- A group of in-store pharmacies at Fred Meyer Inc. is preparing for the first trial run next month of a computer system that will connect them to clinics by e-mail for prescriptions, refills and medication questions.
The test will be conducted in the Salem, Ore., area. It will link Fred Meyer pharmacies to the 35 physician Salem Clinics.
The system can make about 1,000 phone calls daily, according to Dave Schulberg, vice president and director of pharmacy, for Fred Meyer's Western region, who believes this is its first trial with in-store pharmacies. It can also reduce errors and misunderstandings, he said.
If the test works out, Schulberg hopes to extend the system to more of the 220-store chain's pharmacies in 17 states.
The application, called Rx PAD, was produced by PDX, a Fort Worth, Texas software firm that supplies computer systems to clinics, hospitals and other medical institutions.
Rx PAD links the clinic's central system to the pharmacies by telephone, to place prescriptions and refill orders. The clinic computer checks the patient's health record to be sure the medicine won't conflict with other medications, doesn't trigger known allergies and is accepted by the patient's insurance policy.
Schulberg also said the system can track the prescribing patterns of physicians, and can flag the doctor if a prescription isn't picked up.
The computer will be provided free to the pharmacies, said Bobby Davis, corporate account sales manager, for PDX. However, they pay a monthly maintenance fee and a small transaction fee. He would not say how much the fee is.