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Specialty Pharmacy Times
April 2012
Specialty Pharmacy Times:   April 2012

Maximizing Patient Care with Technology

Todd Weber
Published Online: Monday, April 9, 2012
Specialty nurses must be thoroughly trained on how to effectively and efficiently utilize a software system to deliver quality care to patients.


Technology has significantly changed the level of care that is available to patients receiving therapies for rare chronic diseases. Traditional therapy management programs were comprised of a multitude of service providers that were used by manufacturers to provide reimbursement assistance, patient assistance, pharmacy services, and clinical services. Each of these service providers may have used different technology platforms to manage the same patient.

Often, the multiple systems did not run on the same platforms, making it difficult to integrate them, resulting in data loss and/or improper transfer of data from provider to provider. Ultimately, the goal of any and all service providers involved in the care of patients with rare chronic diseases should be to maximize the level of patient care.

The Therapy Manager
One potential solution would be to centralize all of the activities around the care of the patient at a Patient Service Center (PSC). Not only will the Patient Service Center communicate with all of the other service providers, but it will serve as the central management center for the patient. The important thing to understand is that any contact the patient makes with the PSC will be through their therapy manager. This model would ensure that the start of care begins with a clinical focus and ends with a clinical focus.

Upon intake, the patient will be assigned to a therapy manager and will be followed by the therapy manager for the life of the therapy. All of the therapy managers will be credentialed registered nurses who have been trained exclusively in the competencies of the specific disease. The PSC will use an open source technology platform that can be easily integrated with the systems that are used by the other service providers (ie, reimbursement, patient assistance programs, pharmacy).

When the therapy manager needs to check the patient’s benefits, they will have direct access to the system of the specific service provider and will be able to communicate relevant information to the patient(s). The key benefit of this model is that patients who require a high-touch approach will have a single point of contact within the PSC. That single point of contact is a health care provider who has access to any relevant information pertaining to the patient’s therapy through an integrated technology platform.

Selecting a System
The success of this model is contingent upon selecting the proper technology platform. The system used by the PSC must be able to communicate back and forth with all the service providers who have been sourced by the manufacturer to provide patient care.

Once the systems have been properly integrated and tested, proper training is essential. The nurses managing the patients at the PSC must be thoroughly trained on how to effectively and efficiently utilize the software system. This is a time-consuming process, but this single point of contact model has the potential to greatly enhance the quality of care that is currently being delivered to high-touch patients suffering from rare chronic diseases. SPT

About the Author
With more than 10 years of experience working as an executive in the biotechnology and specialty pharmacy arena, Todd Weber is responsible for business development at the Specialty Pharmacy Nursing Network (SPNN). Todd has successfully transferred his industry knowledge to building and executing customized specialty nursing programs for biotech manufacturers and specialty pharmacies. Having worked as a brand manager for a leading biotech company, Todd has extensive experience in assisting manufacturers with incorporating specialty nursing into their branding and channel access strategies. SPNN is one of the first specialty pharmacy nursing services to provide a nationwide network of 500 qualified nurses to meet the needs of specialty pharmacies and biotech manufacturers. The organization’s services include coordination of care, drug administration, first dosing, education, clinical outcome data collection and reporting, and on-call coverage for specialty therapies. Visit www.spnninc.org.

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