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Volume 28, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

MPS retail pharmacy dispensing software now installed in over 1,400 pharmacies in Ireland

To make the process of managing and issuing repeat patient prescriptions faster and easier for Irish pharmacies which meet local ethical codes of practice, Kodak Alaris announces today that McLernon Computers is installing KODAK SCANMATE i1150 Scanners as part of a retail pharmacy software solution sold to chemists in both the north and south of the country.

 

Retail dispensing is a complex area. In the Republic of Ireland (RoI) alone, 13 different drug payment schemes are on offer with 1,800 pharmacies in the country prescribing an estimated 80 million items each year. To manage this requires installing a feature-rich IT system and McLernon Computers has won considerable market share with its modular MPS retail pharmacy dispensing software now installed in over 50% of pharmacies in the republic – around 950 sites - and 450 chemists in the north.

 

MPS is a WINDOWS-based IT system used to manage the whole dispensing process end-to-end including recording drug information in patients’ files, printing labels, managing stock, checking drug interactions, and claiming money back from either the Irish Health Service Executive or the NHS in the UK. Of the 80 million prescribed items in the RoI, around 50 million now go through MPS.

 

Each time repeat prescriptions are made, pharmacists have to physically check back to view the original prescription to see what medicines the patient was taking. This is required to meet standards as outlined by the Irish regulator, The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI).

 

Robin Hanna, McLernon Computers’ sales director, says, “Partnering with Kodak Alaris, we offer an additional scanning module for pharmacists to scan prescriptions and store them directly into MPS for easy future retrieval on-screen. It is a very simple solution which saves time, enhances productivity and ultimately allows pharmacists or their assistants to spend more time with patients front of house rather than hunting in filing cabinets for old prescription paperwork.”

 

Having thoroughly reviewed the market, McLernon Computers decided to partner with Kodak Alaris as its scanner hardware vendor, selecting KODAK SCANMATE i1150 desktop scanners as the optimal device for use given their small size, speed and ability to scan in duplex as both sides of prescriptions have to be captured.

KODAK SCANMATE i1150 scanners are specifically designed for use in customer facing situations where staff need to quickly and efficiently scan documents as part of a business process so as to reduce waiting times and enhance customer satisfaction.

 

Recognising that the majority of customer transactions involve scanning 10 or less documents, the KODAK SCANMATE i1150 features a special ‘transaction mode’ which boosts the scanner’s performance by 60% for the first 10 pages – equating to 40 pages per minutes [ppm] - before it resumes its normal processing mode of 25 ppm. This avoids the scanner becoming a bottleneck and ensures more customers can be seen. The i1150 has a recommended daily volume of 3,00o pages and scans in black and white, grayscale and colour.

To date, around 400 pharmacists have deployed KODAK Scanners with McLernon Computers predicting that, within 18 months, the large majority of its customer base will have shifted to scanning prescriptions as well as storing other medical related documentation such as letters from consultants or general practitioners.

Neil Murphy, Kodak Alaris’ UK sales manager says, “Following the economic crash, the Irish government has put real pressure on retail pharmacies to deliver medicines at lower cost with margins decreasing dramatically over the past few years. Some have been hit hard so solutions that are cost effective yet improve efficiency and help save time are being welcomed which is what the combined MPS and KODAK SCANMATE system delivers.”

A recent Information Management article argues that chief data officers (CDOs) are making “gradual gains” this year. The piece backs this up with a list of recent appointments, as well as a stat from Experian that says roughly 60 percent of chief information officers hope to hire CDOs this year.

With all due respect, I disagree. In fact, there are several signs that CDOs as a concept may falter, and their functions may be absorbed by other existing roles.

First, the list actually includes only one CDO appointment. That was at Clinical Ink, a company that develops health care patient engagement technology. Obviously, that’s a step forward, but if I may be frank, I’m a bit surprised a company like that didn’t already have a chief data officer, since their work is patient engagement.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/integration/are-businesses-back-tracking-on-chief-data-officers.html

Independent research commissioned by Zenium Technology Partners has indicated that 50 percent of organizations are not operating a data centre / center environment that could withstand, or continue to operate after, a natural disaster. This lack of perceived preparedness is in spite of 45 percent of respondents stating that their data centre is flood resistant, 43 percent confirming facilities are earthquake resistant and 60 percent declaring their data centre is located in an area away from physical or environmental hazards.

The report, ‘Managing Growth, Risk and the Cloud’, found that in the last ten years, one in two companies questioned has experienced disruption to their data centre operation due to natural disasters. On average, respondents experienced five such incidents in total, which amounts to one every other year. Of the territories included in the survey, Turkey has experienced the greatest number of incidents (65 percent) but the report also pointed to high figures in the UK at 45 percent and Germany at 39 percent.

Of those that have experienced disruptions, 91 percent incurred expense to the business each time, with the maximum cited as £500,000. Surprisingly, 34 percent of CIO/VP/director-level respondents did not know what the exact cost was, and were only able to say that ‘some’ loss had been incurred.

Twice as many of those that outsource (58 percent) have experienced disruption caused by a natural disaster in the last ten years, compared with those that do not outsource (25 percent).

“I’m astounded by these figures but this could well be because companies have not chosen well when it comes to the data centre operator they selected as an outsourcing partner,” said Franek Sodzawiczny, CEO & Founder of Zenium Technology Partners. “Natural disasters are rightly top of the data centre business agenda and I believe that outsourcing continues to offer a viable risk-reduction strategy.

“Discussions around scalability, connectivity and cost are of course important when selecting an outsourcing partner but this research demonstrates quite clearly that the location of the data centre should not be underestimated,” he added. “The data centre supports mission critical services and downtime is not only disastrous, but astronomically expensive, in today’s 24x7 business environment.

No matter what SLA’s a company has in place, it all becomes immediately irrelevant if the data centre building is inaccessible, damaged or worse, destroyed.”

Interestingly 64 percent of those that already outsource some data centre operations are considering outsourcing more to further reduce exposure to natural disasters and 36 percent of those that do not outsource are also considering taking this same route.

88 percent of those considering outsourcing to reduce risk would still prefer to host data within national borders and more IT professionals in the UK (86 percent) and Turkey (87 percent) feel this way, compared to Germany (75 percent).

“I think it’s fair to say that it is highly likely that the demand for robust and resilient space to combat natural disasters will grow alongside an increasing preference to partner with a local data centre operator,” suggested Sodzawiczny. “The report found that 83 percent of respondents believe they will have to lease more data centre space from domestic providers as a result of the EU Data Protection Directive so making the right decisions about the data centre will continue to be about ‘location, location, location’ in the long term.”

The survey for the report was conducted by Dynamic Markets and a total of 301 interviews were collected in the UK, Germany and Turkey with senior IT professionals across a wide variety of industry sectors and in large organisations with 250 or more employees. All respondents confirmed prior to interview that they were an IT professional with responsibility for the company’s data centres from an operational and / or strategic perspective.

www.zeniumdatacenters.com

All countries need to be prepared for the unanticipated spread of serious infectious diseases says WHO.

After a meeting on the 17th June, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, outbreak that spread from the Middle East to the Republic of Korea does not constitute a ‘public health emergency of international concern’ but is nonetheless a ‘wake-up call’ for all countries to be prepared for the unanticipated spread of serious infectious diseases.

The Emergency Committee, convened by the WHO Director-General under the International Health Regulations regarding Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in regards to the outbreak in the Republic of Korea, also recommended against the application of any travel or trade restrictions and considers screening at points of entry to be unnecessary at this time.

WHO did recommend “raising awareness about MERS and its symptoms among those travelling to and from affected areas” as “good public health practice.”

The Committee noted that there are still many gaps in knowledge regarding the transmission of this virus between people, including the potential role of environmental contamination, poor ventilation and other factors, and indicated that continued research in these areas was critical.

Meanwhile, in a JAMA Viewpoint article, Georgetown public health law professor Lawrence O. Gostin and infectious disease physician Daniel Lucey state that MERS-CoV requires constant vigilance and could spread to other countries including the United States. However, MERS can be brought under control with effective public health strategies.

In the Viewpoint, published online on June 17th, the authors outline strategies for managing the outbreak, focusing on transparency, trust and infection control in health care settings. The duo also outline weaknesses in the World Health Organization's framework designed to govern patents on certain viruses, which is likely to impact critical future research.

Key points Gostin and Lucey make about MERS-CoV infection control include:

  • Training health workers and conducting diagnostic testing of certain travelers;
  • Limiting quarantine quarantines use to well-documented exposures using the least restrictive means possible;
  • Restricting travel should be avoided as it would be ineffective as evidence is lacking of MERS-CoV community transmission; and
  • Closing schools also should be avoided given the lack of community transmission of MERS-CoV.

In addition, Gostin and Lucey say the WHO's Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework fails to cover non-influenza pathogens like MERS-CoV noting, "...there remain substantial holes in international rules needed to facilitate critical research."

Data center infrastructure is supposed to be the rock upon which higher order applications and services are built. So what are we to think when someone comes along and says we can do all kinds of wonderful things by severing the application’s ties to this foundation?

In a way, what is happening to data architectures mirrors what we can see in the data center. The floor is concrete, but the racks are made of metal. The servers themselves are not welded to the rack but can slide in and out for easy replacement. At each delineation, the goal is to produce maximum flexibility while still rooting the system in the strength of its supporting infrastructure.

The latest iterations of virtual infrastructure are taking this idea to an entirely new level, however, because they purport to remove infrastructure concerns entirely from the business model. This can be seen in solutions like Nutanix’s Xtreme Computing Platform (XCP), which aims for full application independence from what the company is now calling “invisible infrastructure.” With the app now enjoying full mobility, native virtualization and even consumer-level search capabilities, it subsumes virtually all of the provisioning, orchestration and other functions it needs to support business processes at scale. In this way, organizations can finally rid themselves of costly infrastructure concerns and focus on what matters to them: making money through app-level innovation.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/can-the-enterprise-thrive-without-infrastructure.html

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with seven technology organizations to provide state, local, tribal and territorial governments with technology resources during a disaster to expedite response and recovery. Cisco Systems, Google, Humanity Road, Information Technology Disaster Resource Center, Intel, Joint Communications Task Force and Microsoft have joined FEMA’s new Tech Corps program – a nationwide network of skilled, trained technology volunteers who can address critical technology gaps during a disaster.

During major disasters or emergencies, trained technology volunteers can complement ongoing response and recovery efforts, including installing temporary networks; enabling internet connectivity, and telephone, and radio communications; and providing other support, such as geographic information system (GIS) capacity, coding, and data analytics.  In 2002, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) proposed a mechanism of leveraging private sector technology capabilities to innovate the way federal, state, local and tribal governments respond to disasters. Tech Corps is based on this model, which was developed beginning in 2013 to assemble the initial group of companies for the voluntary program.

“When disaster strikes, we all have a role to play in helping survivors recover, and that includes the private sector,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “Tech Corps volunteers will bring a vital skill set to our emergency management team to help the survivors we serve recover more quickly after disasters. We’re grateful to Senator Wyden and the private sector for contributing to this effort and we look forward to partnering with them to make communities stronger and safer.” 

“Tech Corps harnesses a deep well of technical expertise and private-sector manpower to make sure every resource is available immediately when disaster strikes,” said Senator Wyden. “Information technology is often critical to saving lives, and this program ensures that red tape won’t stand in the way of volunteer experts who can stand up temporary cell networks and Wi-Fi solutions that are so important in disaster areas. I’m hopeful today’s partners are the first of many to sign up to work hand-in-hand with emergency responders to help craft more resilient and effective responses to future disasters.”

Already, Tech Corps partners have been active on their own during national and global technology disaster response efforts, including providing support during Hurricane Sandy and the earthquakes in Nepal and Haiti. This initiative signifies a greater level of coordination between volunteers and the emergency management community through FEMA. 

To learn more about Tech Corps, please visit: fema.gov/tech-corps.


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FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.

Follow FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blog, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema and www.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema.

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

OKLAHOMA CITY – Not all of the damage from flooding takes place while your home or business is under water. Long after the flood waters have receded, mold and mildew can present serious and ongoing health issues.

Oklahomans impacted by the severe storms and flooding that took place between May 5 and June 4 should take steps to protect the health of their family or employees by treating or discarding mold- and mildew-infected items as soon as possible.

Health experts urge those who find mold to act fast. Cleaning mold quickly and properly is essential for a healthy home or work place, especially for people who suffer from allergies or asthma.

Mold and mildew can start growing within 24 hours after a flood, and can lurk throughout a home or business, from the attic and basement to crawl spaces and store rooms. The best defense is to clean, dry or discard moldy items. A top-to-bottom cleanup is your best defense, according to the experts.

Many materials are prone to developing mold if they remain damp or wet for too long. Start a post-flood cleanup by sorting all items exposed to floodwaters:

  • Wood and upholstered furniture and other porous materials can trap mold and may need to be discarded.
  • Carpeting presents a problem because drying it does not remove mold spores. Carpets with mold and mildew should be removed.
  • Glass, plastic and metal objects and other items made of hardened or nonporous materials can often be cleaned, disinfected and reused.

All flood-dampened surfaces should be cleaned, disinfected and dried as soon as possible. Follow these tips to ensure a safe and effective cleanup:

  • Open windows for ventilation and wear rubber gloves and eye protection when cleaning. Consider using a mask (rated N-95 or higher) if heavy concentrations of mold are present.
  • Use a non-ammonia soap or detergent to clean all areas and washable items that came in contact with floodwaters.
  • Mix 1.5 cups of household bleach in one gallon of water and thoroughly rinse and disinfect the area. Never mix bleach with ammonia, as the fumes are toxic.
  • Cleaned areas can take several days to dry thoroughly. The use of heat, fans and dehumidifiers can speed up the drying process.
  • Check all odors. Mold often hides in the walls or behind wall coverings. Find all mold sources and clean them properly.
  • Remove and discard all materials that can’t be cleaned like wallboard, fiberglass and other fibrous goods. Clean the wall studs where wallboard has been removed and allow the area to dry thoroughly before replacing the wallboard.

For other tips about post-flooding cleanup, visit www.fema.gov, www.oem.ok.gov, www.epa.gov, or www.cdc.gov.

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Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.  If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) prepares for, responds to, recovers from and mitigates against emergencies and disasters. The department delivers services to Oklahoma cities, towns and counties through a network of more than 350 local emergency managers.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion6 and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov.

The SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visiting SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call (800) 877-8339.

Delegates at a major information security event have been warned that weaknesses in their supply chains could be undermining their companies’ defence against cybercrime.

Speaking at Infosecurity Europe 2015, which was held in London between June 2nd and 4th, Cert-UK director Chris Gibson drew attention to the number of recent data breaches that could be attributed to organisations’ partners rather than problems with their own systems, Computer Weekly reports.

Examples include North American retailer Target, which was attacked in November 2013 after network credentials were stolen from its air-conditioning vendor.

“Target may have been very good at information security, but there was a weakness in their supply chain and that is where they fell over,” Mr Gibson commented.

In March, a survey from Forrester Research showed that 63 per cent of organisations believe data loss and theft to be the most significant risks associated with their supply chain relationships.

By comparison, just 55 per cent worry that their business might be adversely affected by a partners’ inability to deliver a quality service in a timely manner.

Complex data recovery requires expertise. Speak to the data recovery industry pioneers at Kroll Ontrack for free advice to investigate options to recover from any data loss type, system or cause.

From:: http://www.krollontrack.co.uk/company/press-room/data-recovery-news/watch-your-supply-chain-for-cyber-risks,-firms-warned168.aspx

Thursday, 18 June 2015 00:00

Introducing modusGate 6.0

MONTREAL – Vircom launched today its newest anti-spam solution: modusGate 6.0. With its focus on email security, it presents a new real-time responsiveness using a live global grid that is capable of filtering and blocking all email-borne annoyances and threats including zero-day threats. The new modusGate 6.0 includes changes to its core filtering engine with technology that extensively scans content and reputation of source, increasing the catch-rate to almost 99.9%.

 

modusGate 6.0 uses a new artificial intelligence engine that works in real-time. It incorporates industry leading technology that studies and identifies possible advanced threat patterns even before they can be recognized by signature-based technologies, thereby addressing zero-day vulnerabilities.

 

"The speed of reaction to the dissemination of newer, more destructive malware was our primary focus in the development of modusGate 6.0" said Mike Petsalis, Vircom's CEO "We've brought together the industry's top talent to deliver an email security solution that works 24/7/365, and is optimally designed to identify existing and developing threats in real-time".

 

Vircom is beginning to roll out modusGate 6.0 today to all existing and new customers.

Establishing a multi-vendor, single-source provider for the Gulf Region

 

AACHEN, Germany – Aspera GmbH, the award-winning pioneer in providing enterprise-class Software Asset Management solutions, together with the Kuwaiti Technology & Business Consultancy SkillBase, have created a partnership to provide Software License Management to the Arabian Gulf region which will now benefit from a comprehensive multi-vendor solution from a single source.

 

The partnership between SkillBase and Aspera was signed in 2014; and over the last few months has rolled out to several key clients in the region by way of informative presentations and demonstrations. “In recent years, clients have increasingly expressed a need for a true multi-vendor solution that covers all software publishers,” comments Faisal Abdul Rahman, Managing Director of SkillBase.

 

SkillBase is a specialized technology and business consultancy founded in 2003, offering its customers consulting services to achieve their full potential by optimizing their performance. The SkillBase offices are located in the heart of Kuwait City - steps from the Kuwait Stock Exchange.

 

"I'm incredibly excited to be serving local clients," says Faisal. "Aspera software and services are unparalleled in the industry. Hundreds of enterprises worldwide rely on Aspera, including more than 35 Fortune Global 500 companies."

 

Founded in 2000, Aspera is a highly specialized provider of software asset management solutions, including its award-winning SmartTrack technology which reports deployed software and license entitlements with a single click and covers over 345,000 product use rights of the most relevant vendors, including: Microsoft, SAP, IBM, VMware and Adobe.

“Aspera continues to deliver proven results and innovation in the area of Advanced License Optimization. Our partnership with SkillBase will enable us to better serve clients in the gulf region and contribute to our rapid global growth." states Peter Kohlauf, Senior Sales Manager of Aspera Partner Operations.