Digital Health Coalition Interviews Don Hackett

RxWiki's Don Hackett answers seven questions from the DHC

Don Hackett, RxWiki - CEO and Publisher, has extensive business experience in the technology and health industries. He has deployed innovative marketing strategies, business models and technology solutions creating several profitable private-sector businesses. Over the years, Don has successfully delivered measurable economic returns for both stakeholders and shareholders alike.

Why do consumers and patients need a digital medications encyclopedia like RxWiki when they have access to Wikipedia?

RxWiki’s digital medication encyclopedia addresses three fundamental concerns that are often cited with regard to Wikipedia’s medications content:

▪ Editor transparency: RxWiki clearly identifies who edits the content

▪ Publishing velocity: RxWiki publishes updates within minutes of an FDA 

▪ Health literacy: RxWiki is written at an 8th grade reading level with related v
ideos to comply with ADA guidelines R
xWiki utilizes a pharmacist-only crowdsourcing model for content creation. Pharmacist editors must meet qualification standards and comply with strict workflow policies defining who can create, edit, and publish content. Medication pages are created using a consistent, consumer-friendly style, written in easy-to- understand language, with a positive voice and neutral tone. 
What is the state of pharmacist-generated content (PGC)? P
 harmacist-generated Content (PGC) written for consumers and patients is not commonplace among publishers. Translating clinical information into an 8th grade reading level, with a positive voice, and a neutral tone remains a journalistic art. Until now, pharmacist authors have been an untapped resource in the battle against limited health literacy and medication non- adherence. 
Most pharmacist- generated content is sequestered within pharmacy publications or the internal departments of larger institutions (i.e., medical centers). Readership of these publications is largely academic as they are overwhelmingly written for the benefit of clinicians, prescribers, payors, or other healthcare entities. 

How are content publishers like Wikipedia being used by consumers and health professionals?

Wikipedia has become one of the most (if not the most) popular health resources for both consumers and health professionals. When searching for health-related information, Wikipedia consistently appears within the first 10 listings on most search engine result pages. Consumers have come to rely on Wikipedia, if for no other reason than accessibility. For most consumers, however, Wikipedia’s health information pages are often difficult to understand as many of the articles are written at a university comprehension level. Healthcare professionals (an estimated 50%) often use Wikipedia as an “information triage”, searching for broad items, then refining their searches in other clinical resources. A review of studies published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research suggested that, while Wikipedia's information about commonly prescribed drugs was generally accurate, healthcare consumers or providers should not use it as the sole source of information.

The study noted that while Wikipedia information was usually accurate and easy to use, it often lacked depth or omitted content.

Wikipedia has recently enforced the use of citations as quality control for edits to articles. However, this process does not prevent unqualified editors from misconstruing the nuances of clinical trials, pharmacology profiles, expert opinions, or systematic review conclusions.

Wikipedia contributors have various levels of subject expertise, as well as varying editorial qualities and biases. For a content type like medications, the potential dissonance present among a diverse group of content editors, who may or may not be experts, is concerning when considering the accuracy of the information published.

A number of pharmacy professionals, including Ohio State University’s Pharmacy Librarian and Director of Drug Information Services who published a study in The Journal of the Medical Library Association, believe the quality of medication information available on Wikipedia is inconsistent. The study’s authors maintain that much of the information may be incomplete to a degree that could be potentially harmful to patients.

Study Information:

You give the pharmacist a key role in your network. Why?

Simply put, patients trust pharmacists because they are the “Main Street” medication experts. Most healthcare professionals rarely undergo the focused pharmacologic and pharmacotherapeutic training or the pharmaceutical-specific education that pharmacists experience prior to practice.

As pharmacists become more involved in patient care, they are well positioned to collaborate with patients to improve medication outcomes. Most pharmacists are easily accessible and well-known within their communities. Patients trust their pharmacist’s guidance and value their in-person conversations.

How do you envision pharmaceutical companies utilizing RxWiki?

RxWiki SubmitTM offers pharma a digital platform to communicate clinical information directly to pharmacist editors. Pharma companies have the opportunity to submit product information for review by RxWiki’s pharmacist editors for potential inclusion within the digital encyclopedia. RxWiki collaborates with manufacturers to ensure the updated information is accurately translated into an 8th grade reading level.

In addition, pharma brands can enroll in RxWiki NotifyTM, permitting consumers to be alerted when any substantive change has been made to their products. RxWiki also features pharma manufacturers’ financial assistance programs, if available.

Any advice for a company concerned about using wiki platforms or user- generated content (UGC) in general? How should they evaluate the relevance of such platforms for their company and brands?

Editor credentials and transparency are key requirements for publishing world- class content. RxWiki offers both of these essential disclosures. To ensure the encyclopedia’s quality, RxWiki’s information comes from sources such as the FDA, medical journals, research institutions and pharmaceutical manufacturers, and is vetted by pharmacists and physicians to ensure information is accurate and unbiased. Only pharmacists can create content, and each RxWiki contributor is identified with any information that is published.

As a closing thought, how will the rapid growth in consumers’ accessing content via mobile devices change the future of UGC - and specifically platforms such as RxWiki?

Consumers want on-demand access to trusted information, regardless of their location. RxWiki’s digital encyclopedia is available for both Apple and Android devices. Mobile users can refine the type of information displayed to receive a personalized experience. Features such as Rx refill ordering, appointment reminders and medication alerts keep patient actively engaged in managing their health.

More About Don:

"To achieve measurable economic results during eHealth 3.0, new solutions must leverage innovative technologies to create work-flow inefficiencies that reduce costs and improve patient outcomes. Patients must be privately connected to their health providers at anytime, and from any communicating device."

Over the past 23 years, Don has pioneered various digital solutions in the medications industry that have led to launching RxWiki, Inc. Don's team deployed the first office- based eRx app, the first digital e-prescribing network, filed the 'Drug Interactions on the Internet" patent, launched the leading MTM clinical application and the leading pharmacist- edited medications encyclopedia,

Last Updated: September 12, 2013