Allscripts eRx Now and TouchWorks Products Attain Advanced Certification for Pharmacy Interoperability
Alexandria , Va. - January 15, 2008 - SureScripts, operator of the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange™, announced today that Allscripts (Nasdaq: MDRX) has achieved GoldRx advanced product certification for 2007. The announcement signals how two Allscripts products - eRx NOW™ e-prescribing software and TouchWorks™ electronic health record software - have gone beyond SureScripts baseline product certification to establish a proven track record in pharmacy interoperability.
"Allscripts is committed to eliminating preventable medication errors by providing physicians the most advanced electronic prescribing technology available today, and this recognition from SureScripts confirms that our solutions have achieved the highest performance levels," said Glen Tullman, chief executive officer of Allscripts. "Communicating through the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange, our clients not only are eliminating error-prone paper and faxed prescriptions, but they are leading the adoption of electronic healthcare, which promises to deliver improved care at lower cost."
"Many physicians are intimidated by new technology and believe that they will lose efficiency during the learning curve when adopting e-prescribing," said Craig Morrow, M.D. Medical Director of Southwest Medical Associates in Las Vegas, the largest multi-specialty physician group in Nevada and a longtime Allscripts user. "But Allscripts e-prescribing is extraordinarily easy to learn and immediately yields dramatic time savings in the prescription and refill process."
"SureScripts and many health IT experts believe that the electronic link between a physician and a pharmacist is the most critical and the most achievable first step toward broader healthcare interoperability," said Rick Ratliff, chief operating officer for SureScripts. "For physicians making an investment in the safety
of their patients, the efficiency of their practice and the quality of their own clinical decision making, GoldRx certification helps them know which software vendors are actually delivering on pharmacy interoperability and other critical levels of automation. We congratulate Allscripts on achieving GoldRx product certification for both TouchWorks and eRx NOW for 2007."
Over the past two years, SureScripts has tested and certified the applications of every major e-prescribing and electronic medical record (EMR) vendor in the U.S. More than 105 physician technology solutions - representing over 150,000 existing physician users - are certified by SureScripts to enable their software and services to exchange prescription information with local pharmacies. Clinics and physicians that use SureScripts Certified Solutions™ have the ability to electronically connect to pharmacies in their community and, as a result, have an unprecedented opportunity to improve the prescribing process.
Today, however, the vast majority of these estimated 150,000 physician users have not taken the simple step to take advantage of pharmacy interoperability. In many cases, physicians are unaware that electronic pharmacy access is available to them, as they are still using older versions of their vendors' software (i.e.,
versions that have no electronic pharmacy connection). The result: New prescriptions are generated by computers, yet received by fax; refill requests are processed by phone and fax; patients' medication histories from community pharmacies are unavailable to physicians; and patients' formulary and eligibility
information is not as complete as it could be. SureScripts advanced certification gives special status to Allscripts and other vendors that find this situation
unacceptable - and that are meeting SureScripts' criteria to do something about it.
The criteria for SureScripts GoldRx certification status goes beyond product compliance with technical standards. Advanced certification is guided by benchmarks for vendor performance across a number of categories:
• Customer Education- vendors must raise awareness among their existing physician customers of the opportunity to communicate new prescription and refill information with pharmacists electronically.
• Proven Pharmacy Interoperability- vendors must make pharmacy interoperability part of every new client installation.
• Advanced Medication Management- vendors must enable their applications to receive medication history from community pharmacies, as well as formulary/eligibility services from the payers and PBMs certified by SureScripts.
• Workflow Enhancements- vendors must meet specific service-level requirements related to the operations of the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange. Vendors must also implement changes to their software based on best practices for automating the prescription process. For example, in 2007, a vendor's software application must contain a "single send button" for the physician to click on and transmit the electronic prescription to the pharmacy. This seemingly minor detail was identified by field researchers at SureScripts who have observed the confusion and delays caused by a multiple choice of send buttons (i.e. "print", "fax", and "electronic") in thousands of physician practices using a variety of e-prescribing and EMR applications.
• Demonstrable Expertise- GoldRx certification status signals that a software or service provider has met a number of benchmarks for "live" customer deployments - i.e. that they have electronically connected new and existing physician users to the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange. This advanced certification criteria is particularly noteworthy and timely given the federal government's recent ruling to no longer allow computer generated faxing of prescriptions covered by the Medicare Part D program beginning January 1, 2009. This federal mandate will require all eprescribing and EMR vendors to ensure that all of their physician users prescribe electronically instead of by computer generated fax.
Tracking a Vendor's Certification Status
Physicians and health IT industry watchers can track the status of a vendor's baseline, GoldRx certifications at www.surescripts.com/certified.
Founded by the pharmacy industry in 2001, SureScripts ® operates the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange ™, which facilitates the secure electronic transmission of prescription information between physicians and pharmacists and provides access to lifesaving information about patients during emergencies or routine care. Today, more than 95 percent of all pharmacies and all major physician technology vendors in the United States are certified on the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange. More information about SureScripts is available at www.surescripts.com.