January 15, 2008 - Allscripts said today that it transmitted more electronic prescriptions in 2007 over the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange than any other e-prescribing vendor and it had more electronic prescribers connected to the Exchange than any other company during 2007.
The Pharmacy Health Information Exchange, operated by SureScripts, facilitates the transfer of electronic prescriptions between U.S. physicians and the nation’s pharmacies. According to the National Progress Report on E-Prescribing, 35 million prescription transactions were routed electronically in 2007.
Electronic prescribing automates the prescription process and alerts prescribers if a medication might prove harmful to a patient. The technology is considered safer than the current system of prescribing on paper. The nonprofit Institute of Medicine says medication errors from illegible handwriting and other pitfalls of paper prescriptions cause 1.5 million injuries and 7,000 deaths each year.
Allscripts also announced its eRx NOW Web-based application and its TouchWorks Electronic Health Record e-prescribing module have both achieved GoldRx advanced certification from SureScripts for 2007. SureScripts advanced certification is granted to vendors that go beyond SureScripts baseline product certification to establish a proven track record in pharmacy interoperability.
Allscripts HealthMatics EHR has been a SureScripts Certified Solution since 2003 and was the first EHR-based e-prescribing solution to earn the industry-standard certification.
The company said criteria for SureScripts GoldRx certification status goes beyond product compliance with technical standards. In meeting advanced certification benchmarks, Allscripts had to demonstrate that its solutions perform across a number of categories including pharmacy interoperability, the ability to receive insurance formulary and medication history information, software enhancements designed to improve workflow, and live customer deployments.
Among the 135 SureScripts Certified Solutions, TouchWorks finished the year ranked No. 1 in both total e-prescriptions written and total number of users. The e-prescribing module of TouchWorks complements the Electronic Health Record's other functions, which automate everyday clinical tasks and securely connect healthcare providers via the Internet to laboratories, insurers, and all other healthcare stakeholders.
Craig Morrow, M.D., Medical Director of Southwest Medical Associates in Las Vegas, and a longtime TouchWorks user, said the solution has been adopted by the group’s 235 physicians, who collectively write close to 1 million electronic prescriptions annually.
“Many physicians are intimidated by new technology and believe that they will lose efficiency during the learning curve,” Dr. Morrow said. “We found Allscripts e-prescribing easy to learn and realized immediate time savings in the prescription and refill process.”
eRx NOW, the other Allscripts solution to achieve GoldRx certification from SureScripts, is available free to any healthcare provider with legal authority to prescribe medications, and requires no download, no new hardware, and minimal training. Allscripts provides eRx NOW through the National ePrescribing Patient Safety Initiative (NEPSI
“With eRx NOW, we were able to start e-prescribing using our existing PCs and Internet service, and the results have been universally positive,” said Doug Masucci, M.D., one of five physicians at Hanover Pediatric Associates in Hanover, PA. “The patients appreciate that the scripts are at the pharmacy when they leave the office; the pharmacies appreciate not having to decipher my handwriting; and our staff appreciates avoiding the pharmacy phone trees when they could be helping patients.”