Chain drug store industry leadershave praised Congress for encouragingpharmacists and physicians to switchto electronic prescribing systems?amove that figures to reduce the risk ofmedication mix-ups while easing theworkload in the nation's communitypharmacies.
In applauding lawmakers for includinglanguage in the MedicareModernization Act to promote theadoption of electronic prescriptionconnectivity, National Association ofChain Drug Stores (NACDS) ChiefExecutive Officer Craig Fuller told theHouse Ways and Means Subcommitteeon Health that "e-prescribing" technologywill help improve both thesafety and efficiency of the prescribingprocess, as well as improve the qualityof medication decisions.
In testimony before the panel,Fuller said that the use of paperlesselectronic prescribing is a safer andmore efficient solution than currenthandwritten prescriptions and telephonecommunications between pharmacistsand physicians.
"Errors are more likely to occur atseveral points during the medicationprescribing and delivery process of theexisting paper prescription system,"Fuller explained. "The Institute forSafe Medication Practices estimatesthat indecipherable or unclear prescriptionsresult in more than 150 millioncalls from pharmacists to physiciansasking for clarification."
The chain drug industry group isworking with the National CommunityPharmacists Association to promotee-prescribing through a joint "Sure-Scripts" initiative that electronicallycreates and transmits prescriptions.SureScripts is now the nation's largestelectronic prescription network, with66% of all community pharmacies and50,000 US physicians able to connectto the system, the NACDS CEO said.