Public service initiative will help ensure continuity of care for victims of disaster by providing health care professionals with access to patient medication histories.
TAMPA, Fla. - (June 4, 2007) - In response to the lessons learned in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a collaborative of public and private organizations has launched ICERx.org (In Case of Emergency Prescription Database), an online resource that provides licensed prescribers and pharmacists caring for disaster victims with secure access to a patient's comprehensive medication history.
"The health care community as a whole learned a great many lessons from Hurricane Katrina, including the critical need to make prescription medication information available to those caring for evacuees nationwide," said David Medvedeff, PharmD, President, Informed Decisions, LLC, a Gold Standard Inc. company. "While we hope that we never again have to respond to another situation like Katrina, we must nonetheless be prepared for the eventuality. That is why ICERx.org was created."
"When disaster strikes, we must be prepared to do all that we can to safeguard the health and welfare of our patients and the greater public. A critical element in that preparation is assuring patients' access to needed medications while
protecting the privacy of their medical information," said James J. James, M.D., DrPH, MHA, Director of the American Medical Association (AMA) Center for Public Health Preparedness and Disaster Response. "We cannot predict what specific emergency or disaster might affect us, but through better pre-event planning and preparation we can better ensure our patients receive necessary medical care in times of crisis."
ICERx.org (www.icerx.org) is a public service initiative made possible through the collaborative efforts of the AMA, Informed Decisions, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), RxHub and SureScripts, as well as state Medicaid and other government agencies.
Through ICERx.org, authorized physicians and pharmacists who are assisting disaster-affected individuals can obtain the medication records of evacuees. The prescription history information is pooled from a variety of sources participating in ICERx.org, including the nation's community pharmacies, pharmacy benefit managers and state Medicaid programs.
Armed with this information, health care professionals will be able to safely renew prescriptions for evacuees and effectively assist in the coordination of care, while avoiding harmful prescription errors and potential drug interactions.
"Hurricane Katrina provided a very vivid illustration of what happens when a community's health care delivery system is compromised. Through ICERx, pharmacists anywhere in the country are now able to securely access the prescription history of a patient displaced due to a disaster, thus providing these individuals with faster, safer access to the life-saving prescription medications they need while protecting against prescription errors and drug interactions," said Bruce Roberts, RPh, Executive Vice President and CEO, NCPA.
"On a daily basis, community pharmacy adds tremendous value to the health care system and improves patient outcomes. NACDS is excited about the ability of ICERx to safeguard the relationship between patients and community pharmacy in the event of an emergency," added Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, President and CEO of NACDS.
During periods of emergency, licensed health care professionals who have registered on ICERx.org can login to the online prescription database, where they will have access to:
• Evacuee prescription history information, including drug name, dosage, quantity, day supply, and the name of the provider who wrote the prescription and the pharmacy that filled it
• Available patient clinical alerts, including drug interaction, therapeutic duplication and elderly alerts
• Clinical pharmacology drug reference information, including drug monographs, interaction reports and the
drug identifier tool
"RxHub fully supports ICERx and the efforts to provide patient specific prescription information to physicians, at the point of care, during a state of emergency," said JP Little, Chief Operating Officer, RxHub. "As we have worked
together in the past to provide patient information for those affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, we will continue to provide access to critical patient information through our secured connection to ICERx.org."
"To be fully prepared and able to respond as quickly as possible during a crisis, the nation must accelerate its push for wide scale adoption of certified electronic prescribing and electronic medical record (EMR) software," said Rick Ratliff, COO, SureScripts. "Between now and when we achieve this important national goal, ICERx.org will provide a safety net, allowing all physicians and pharmacists to provide better care to those in need during an emergency."
Prescription data is available only to licensed health care professionals who have registered on ICERx.org. Health care professionals can register for an ICERx.org account beginning June 1, 2007. For more information, visit www.ICERx.org or call 1.888.ICERX.50 (888-423-7950). Informed Decisions provides online services for ICERx.org.
About the American Medical Association
The American Medical Association helps doctors help patients by uniting physicians nationwide to work on the most important professional and public health issues. Working together, the AMA's quarter of a million physician and medical student members are playing an active role in shaping the future of medicine. For more information on the AMA, please visit www.ama-assn.org.
About Informed Decisions, LLC
Based in Tampa, Fla., Informed Decisions (www.informeddecisions.com) is a division of Gold Standard Inc. that provides a full array of strategic health information technology services to health care interests including state governments, commercial insurance payers, pharmaceutical manufacturers and professional health care associations. Gold Standard (www.goldstandard.com) is a leading developer of drug information databases, software and clinical information solutions. Its parent company, Elsevier (www.elsevier.com), is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services with more than 7,000 employees in over 70 offices across 24 countries.
About the National Association of Chain Drug Stores
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) represents the nation's leading retail chain pharmacies and suppliers, helping them better meet the changing needs of their patients and customers. Chain pharmacies operate
more than 38,000 pharmacies, employ 114,000 pharmacists, fill more than 2.3 billion prescriptions yearly, and have annual sales of nearly $700 billion. Other members include almost 1,000 suppliers of products and services to the chain drug industry. NACDS international membership has grown to include 87 members from 28 countries. For more information about NACDS, visit www.nacds.org.
About the National Community Pharmacists Association
The National Community Pharmacists Association (www.ncpanet.org), founded in 1898, represents the nation's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 24,000 pharmacies. The nation's independent pharmacies, independent pharmacy franchises, and independent chains dispense nearly half of the nation's retail
About RxHub, LLC
RxHub® (www.rxhub.net) manages the RxHub National Patient Health Information Network™ which electronically routes up-to-date patient-specific medication history and pharmacy benefit information to caregivers at every point of care. Our end-to-end solution enables physicians to prescribe the most clinically appropriate and cost effective prescription and send it electronically to the patient's pharmacy of choice. Operating as a cost recovery business model, RxHub partners with stakeholders in the prescribing industry to improve patient safety, increase workflow efficiency and reduce the overall cost of health care delivery.