Washington, DC, has taken a majorstep in the electronic prescribing (e-prescribing)initiative. A Washington-basedphysician sent the first electronic prescriptionto a local Rite Aid pharmacy onJanuary 17, according to SureScripts,operators of the Pharmacy HealthInformation Exchange.
The transmission followed the adoptionin December 2006 by the Washington,DC, Board of Pharmacy of newrules making e-prescribing legal. Thetransmission also came on the heels of anew initiative by health plan payers,physician groups, and technology vendorsto extend free e-prescribing toevery physician in the United States.
Phil Keough, senior vice president ofpharmacy operations for Rite Aid, favorse-prescribing. "Utilizing e-prescribing is ahuge benefit for our patients, our pharmacists,and our physician partners. E-prescribingimproves accuracy, eliminatesunnecessary phone calls and faxesto physicians, and, most importantly,allows our pharmacists to spend moretime counseling their patients, answeringtheir questions, and ensuring their compliancewith medication therapy."
SureScripts predicts that e-prescribingwill be legal and live throughout thecountry during the first half of this year.The group is working closely with communitypharmacies throughout Washington,DC, to immediately activate previouslycertified computer systems for e-prescribing.SureScripts has certified thesoftware solutions being used by >95%of the nation's retail pharmacies. Amajority of the Washington, DC, area's113 retail pharmacies can now begin e-prescribing.