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Massachusetts takes top honors in the nation for electronic prescribing

Massachusetts takes top honors in the nation for electronic prescribing
Gov. Patrick accepts award on behalf of state

BOSTON - In front of hundreds of aspiring pharmacy students, Sen. Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge, presented the Safe-Rx Award - recognizing Massachusetts as the top e-prescribing state in the nation - to Gov. Deval L. Patrick at the Face of Pharmacy event today.

"What a tremendous honor this is for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to be singled out for how its world class medical community is using technology to help its patients in such a common sense manner," Gov. Patrick said.

Last month in New Orleans, Sen. Moore accepted the Safe-Rx Award on the Commonwealth's behalf before a gathering of healthcare leaders from across the nation.

"Attaining the No. 1 national ranking for e-prescribing efforts represents a genuine and long-standing commitment by our state government, health care professionals, and health care advocates to expanding access to safe, high quality
and affordable health care for the people of Massachusetts," said Moore. Dr. JudyAnn Bigby, Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services also joined officials to applaud the state's achievement in improving patient safety through usage of electronic prescribing technology.

"This award reflects the Commonwealth's on-going commitment to using technology to further advance our efforts to promote safe prescribing and to ensure high quality, cost-effective care," said Sec. Bigby. "We are grateful to the many individuals and advocates who have lead the way for e-prescribing in Massachusetts."

The Safe-Rx Award is given annually by the nation's community pharmacies to the top 10 e-prescribing states in the nation. Massachusetts' first place ranking this year represents a jump from its third place finish last year.

"This is another example of the benefit of technology in our health care environment that will enhance the safety and affordability of prescription drugs for the citizens of the Commonwealth," said Dennis Lyons, Vice President of
Institutional Advancement at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, a sponsor of the Face of Pharmacy event. "Our institution is also committed to educating students on the value of electronically prescribed data as a tool to reduce errors and promote safe medication use by patients."

In addition to the award for the state, the following three Massachusetts-based physicians also were recognized for their individual leadership: Dr. Alberto Sobrado, North Andover; Dr. Lorenver Po, Holyoke and Dr. Joseph Antaki,

The Safe-Rx Awards are based on an analysis of data from new prescriptions and refill responses electronically transmitted over the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange™, operated by SureScripts. States are ranked by the number of prescriptions routed electronically in 2006 as a percentage of the total number of prescriptions eligible for electronic routing.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and SureScripts®, created the Safe-Rx Award to raise awareness of e-prescribing as a more secure, accurate and informed means of prescribing patients medication. This year's Safe-Rx Awards follow the release of a report in July of 2006 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that focused national attention on the 1.5 million preventable medication errors that occur in the United States each year. To prevent these errors and the injuries they cause, the IOM report made a series of recommendations, including one that all prescriber and pharmacies prescribe electronically by 2010.

For more information about the Safe-Rx Awards, go to