Pharmacy Interoperability: New Opportunities, Persistent Challenges with Dr. First’s CMO, Colin Banas

In this episode, our guest is Colin Banas, MD, MSHA, Chief Medical Officer, DrFirst. Colin Banas is an Internal Medicine Hospitalist and the former Chief Medical Information Officer for VCU Health System in Richmond, VA prior to stepping down after 15 fulfilling years to pursue consulting. He is proud to have testified before the U.S. Senate and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) on the topic of Health IT and the Meaningful Use Program and is a former Health IT Fellow for the ONC. His interests center the role of big-data and analytics on patient outcomes and on novel forms of Clinical Decision Support, those that are outside of the realm of traditional rules and alerts, and include real-time dashboarding and intuitive usability designs. He also helped spearhead the VCU effort to participate in the Open Notes initiative, where patients have access to their clinical documentation in real time. In 2017 Dr. Banas was humbled to receive the HIMSS-AMDIS award for Physician Executive of the Year from his peers.


Pharmacy Interoperability: New Opportunities, Persistent Challenges

Topic Summary: Interoperability has been a buzzword for the healthcare industry for many years, but until now, the conversation has centered around how to get doctors and healthcare systems more accurate, complete patient health data for improved outcomes. In 30 years of e-prescribing, the pharmacy’s role – at least where interoperable data sharing is concerned – has been viewed from the narrow lens of fulfillment. Today, there are encouraging signs of change, particularly coming out of the ONC’s annual meeting in December 2023.


Pharmacy Interoperability: Persistent Challenges….

-Technical, economic, structural, and psychological issues that must be addressed

-Conflicting concerns/interests of the major players within the industry, including NACDS/NCPA, AMA, HHS, and others

-Data standards/lack of available infrastructure and networks to advance and scale interoperability with pharmacists and pharmacies

-Competition can impede pharmacy collaboration in data sharing


….New Opportunities

-Awareness is growing, more attention and focus from ONC, CMS, and others of the unique technical, economic, and business challenges pharmacies face – and acknowledgment of the critical role pharmacists play as equal members of the patient care team

-AI in pharmacy workflow and patient-facing tech solutions are connecting the provider, patient, and pharmacy like never before  

-Pharmacy vendors are looking for new and innovative ways to partner within innovative data-sharing business models

Guest – Dr. Colin Banas

Host – Hillary Blackburn, PharmD, MBA

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