Feb. 28, 2007 - The nation’s community pharmacies announced that Massachusetts ranks first in the nation in electronic prescribing and recognized the state, along with nine others, as part of the second annual Safe-Rx Awards. Electronic prescribing, or “e-prescribing,” is widely acknowledged as a means of enhancing patient safety. The Safe-Rx Award is given annually by the nation’s community pharmacies to the top 10 e-prescribing states in the nation and to three physicians in each winning state who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in their use of e-prescribing technology. Massachusetts’ first-place ranking this year represents a jump from its third-place finish last year.

“The Safe-Rx Award is well-deserved recognition for Massachusetts for its leadership in adopting cutting-edge technologies to reduce costs, avoid errors in prescribing drugs and increase efficiency in delivering care,” said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. “Information technology is transforming all aspects of our modern society, but few areas are more important than health care. The Safe-Rx Award recognizes the immense benefits of this technology, especially in protecting patient safety.”

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and SureScripts created the Safe-Rx Award to raise awareness of e-prescribing as a more secure, accurate and informed means of prescribing patients’ medication.

This year’s Safe-Rx Awards follow the release of a report in July 2006 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). The report, “Preventing Medication Errors,” focused national attention on the causes of and possible remedies for the 1.5 million preventable medication errors that occur in the United States each year. To prevent these errors and the injuries they cause, the IOM report made a series of recommendations, including one that all prescribers and pharmacies prescribe electronically by 2010.

Top 10 E-Prescribing States: The Second Annual* Safe-Rx Award Winners

1. Massachusetts
2. Rhode Island
3. Nevada
4. Delaware
5. Maryland
6. Michigan
7. North Carolina
8. New Jersey**
9. Ohio
10. Washington**

*For more information about the awards and to see how this year’s state rankings compare to last year’s, go to http://www.surescripts.com/saferx.

**New to the top 10.


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