Thursday, February 28, 2008

Safer is better

I love that when I get a prescription or a refill from my primary care doc, he just types it into his computer and it magically shows up at the pharmacy. Brilliant.

I never thought about the technical benefits of it before, just the convenience. According to a survey done of Metro Detroit doctors, they prefer e-prescribing as it leaves less room for error. True that.

Some 75 percent of doctors strongly believe electronic prescribing improves patient safety, according to the survey by the Southeast Michigan ePrescribing Initiative. SEMI was created three years ago by General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., Chrysler L.L.C., Medco Health Solutions, and several health plans.

Apparently, it's such a big deal, the federal government is deciding to cause it to spread like wildfire.
Last December, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Penn., introduced legislation that would require physicians serving Medicare beneficiaries to adopt electronic prescribing by 2011 or face possible financial penalties.

The bills, SB 2408 and HR 4296, also provides funding to help physicians purchase computers and the software to use electronic prescribing.

Doctors also would be paid a 1 percent bonus for every claim they submitted that included an electronic prescription.

“As a company this is a good business decision to ensure employees get medical care in a safe environment,” Kohn-Parrott said.
Excellent. I can't help but think this is going to do nothing but good for the millions of people on prescription meds, especially those of us on many prescription meds. Less hassle, less chance for mishaps and less paper. Sounds good all around.