December 27, 2007 – McKesson Corp. recently announced the Practice Partner Research Network (PPRNet) at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston, S.C., received a $1.2 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to research medication safety in the ambulatory setting.
The study titled “Medication Safety in Primary Care Practice - Translating Research into Practice” (MS-TRIP), is a three-year demonstration project that will define a set of medication safety quality indicators, incorporate these performance indicators into practice management reports and assess the impact of the PPRNet-TRIP quality improvement model on the indicators. Currently, PPRNet membership consists of 137 physician practices representing more than 700 healthcare providers and 615,000 active patients in 38 states. Steven Ornstein, M.D., director of PPRNet and professor of Family Medicine at MUSC, is the principal investigator for the study.
“Medication errors in primary care practice are an important cause of morbidity, but the extent of these errors in the outpatient setting is largely unknown, and effective interventions for reducing these errors need to be developed and tested,” said Andrea Wessell, PharmD, assistant professor of clinical pharmacy and outcome sciences at the South Carolina College of Pharmacy and a co-investigator of the MS-TRIP study. “PPRNet is an ideal real-world laboratory for primary care practices across the U.S. that are interested in quality improvement.”
All physicians participating in PPRNet use McKesson’s Practice Partner Patient Records medical office software to help drive quality improvements for their patients. Designed for the independent physician practice, this award-winning electronic health record (EHR) and medical office software solution is one of only eight to receive ambulatory EHR certification in 2007 by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology. More than 6,000 physicians and 1,500 practices of all sizes and specialties use Practice Partner software to increase productivity and improve quality of care. Patient Records will be the critical tool utilized by the 20 practices evaluating medication safety quality indicators developed by MS-TRIP investigators.
“Since 1995, we’ve been working with PPRNet and hundreds of providers to help practices use EHRs to improve quality,” said Andrew G. Ury, M.D., vice president and general manager of McKesson’s Practice Partner business. “It will be exciting to see PPRNet’s efforts applied specifically to the important issue of medication safety.”
Planned medication safety quality indicators include avoidance of inappropriate therapy; inappropriate dosing based on age, weight and/or renal function; drug-drug interactions; drug-disease state interactions; and adverse drug event prevention.
From October 2007 through July 2010, MS-TRIP participants will perform quarterly EHR extracts, attend annual network meetings and host site visits to help systematize the use of medication safety clinical decision support features. Results of the MS-TRIP study will be published, and the findings will be disseminated to other PPRNet practices.
McKesson’s Practice Partner Patient Records has been integral to the success of PPRNet since MUSC’s Department of Family Medicine helped launch the network in 1995. PPRNet is the first practice-based quality improvement and research network connecting primary healthcare providers through the use of a common EHR system to capture patient data.