Associations Support IOM Recommendations

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

The National Association of Chain DrugStores and the National CommunityPharmacists Association both share theInstitute of Medicine's (IOM's) goal ofimproving patient safety and decreasingmedication errors. The IOM's recentreport "Preventing Medication Errors" recommended setting a national agendawith strategies to reduce medicationerrors in a range of health care settings.

The associations, which foundedSureScripts, highlighted 2 technology-relatedrecommendations. The first is theIOM's goal for electronic prescribing (e-prescribing)to be in place nationwide by2010. Currently, >90% of the nation'spharmacies are certified to receive prescriptionselectronically, and prescriptioninformation is exchanged betweenphysicians and pharmacists in this mannerin 47 states. The work of SureScriptsconfirms that adoption of e-prescribing isan effective strategy to reduce drugerrors and that transmitting 80% of theUS prescriptions electronically can beachieved by converting the 30% of physicianswho write them.

The second recommendation is providingphysicians with all medicationinformation on their patients so theycan have a single comprehensive viewof a patient's medication history. Themedication history service is enabled bySureScripts' ability to connect to thenation's community pharmacies, regardlessof name or location, and presentthe information to physiciansthrough software that has been certifiedto connect to the SureScripts e-prescribingnetwork.