Archive for March, 2010

Mar
25
2010

March 15 marked the end of the public comment period on CMS’ proposed interim rule on meaningful use and PQRI. Now CMS is sifting through the 2,700 written responses to qualify those that are relevant and make sure they are given due consideration. According to Tony Trenkle, director of the CMS Office of E-Health Standards and Services, some 2,000 of the comments have been read thus far.

Since the rule is classified as an ‘interim final rule,’ the government can only act upon recommendations that suggest refinements to issues already addressed in the original text.

Common Public Suggestions:

  • Lower the bar for providers, allowing more to qualify for incentives
  • Give additional clarification on the rule
  • Allow flexibility in adopting measures for meaningful use
  • Set some measures as core, some measures as optional
  • Reduce the number of measures or the threshold of the measures

According to CMS, the more specific the comments are, the more likely they are to be used to guide CMS and ONC as they craft the final version of the rules.

Now that the public has had a chance to weigh in on the proposed rule, we are one step closer to a definitive and final ruling from CMS. The final meaningful use criteria are a hot topic and are absolutely necessary to promote confidence in the adoption of any health IT system. Release dates for the final version should be announced soon.

Stay tuned to blog.DrFirst to remain up-to-date with meaningful use and other industry information.

About Cam Deemer:

As President of DrFirst, Mr. Deemer is responsible for driving the development, strategy and management of the company towards exponential growth and success. Mr. Deemer brings more than 12 years of healthcare industry experience to this position. He joined DrFirst in 2005 as the Director of Product Management and most recently served as the Senior Vice President and General Manager, where he managed the company’s tactical operations. Since joining DrFirst, Mr. Deemer has played an instrumental role in formalizing and driving improved business processes, while developing new technology strategies to leverage the benefits of e-prescribing for payers, hospitals, and health systems. He has also been a strong proponent of promoting interoperability in the eHealthcare industry by sharing prescription data between disparate systems. Prior to joining DrFirst in 2005, Mr. Deemer was Assistant Vice President of Product Management for PCS Health Systems/AdvancePCS and also led the e-prescribing and practice management product strategy for NDCHealth/Per Se (currently the RelayHealth division of McKesson).

Find all posts by Cam Deemer | Visit Website

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Mar
21
2010

Well, all the states are covered. On Monday, March 15, 2010, HHS Secretary Sebelius announced that an additional $162 million in grant money was being awarded to 16 states and “qualified state entities” for the state  Health Information Exchange (HIE) Cooperative Agreement Program. Although this is only a small chunk of the $2 billion allocated to drive HIT adoption under the ARRA incentives, this round accomplishes the goal of providing some HIT funding to each of the 50 states.

The HIEs funded include several states where DrFirst is very active (even my home state of Maryland), and we hope to participate with data to be exchanged in these programs. These grants are in addition to the $385 million released to 40 states back in February of this year, and hopefully these grants will be used to jump-start ARRA-related programs that will result in physician HIT incentives in 2011.

To see which states were awarded this round of grants visit Healthcare IT News at http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/hhs-announces-162-million-16-state-hie-grants

About Irene Froehlich:

Ms. Froehlich has been with DrFirst since its inception in 2000. In her role as Director of Marketing, she oversees the planning, directing, and coordinating all marketing and public relations efforts at DrFirst. Ms. Froehlich has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Find all posts by Irene Froehlich | Visit Website

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Mar
20
2010

**The study participants used Rcopia by DrFirst as the e-prescribing application**

Excerpt from study:

Types of Prescribing Errors

E-prescribing variably decreased all types of prescribing errors. At baseline, the most common errors made by adopters were inappropriate abbreviations and duration errors. Examples are shown in Table 5. Duration and directions errors were most frequent among adopters at follow-up.

Examples of Prescribing Errors and Near Misses

Medication Errors

  • Lortisone® cream (Betamethasone and Clotramizole cream) is prescribed without a frequency for application
  • Amoxicillin 500 mg is prescribed with length of treatment omitted
  • Ketoconazole 2% antifungal cream is prescribed with directions for use omitted
  • Rhinocort® Aqua® Nasal Spray (Budesonide nasal spray) is prescribed with frequency omitted

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About Irene Froehlich:

Ms. Froehlich has been with DrFirst since its inception in 2000. In her role as Director of Marketing, she oversees the planning, directing, and coordinating all marketing and public relations efforts at DrFirst. Ms. Froehlich has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Find all posts by Irene Froehlich | Visit Website

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Mar
19
2010

Due to the many payer programs that DrFirst did in conjunction with Zix Corp (PocketScripts Users), there have been rumors that DrFirst is closing our doors.

Actually… DrFirst is going strong in our 10th year!

The mix up is understandable, since both companies share many of the same markets due to these sponsored program. In order to help their clients, Zix has recently released a detailed list of frequently asked questions regarding their exit of the e-prescribing market to ensure that there won’t be any sudden surprises.   This information will allow their current providers plenty of time to select a new electronic prescribing vendor to prevent any gaps in service.

Top 3 Takeaways:

  • PocketScript will be available to licensed users until 12/31/2010, but all requests for patient data must be placed no later than 11/15/2010.
  • All hardware provided as part of a health plan sponsorship can be kept free of charge, and be used with future e-prescribing solutions.
  • To request patient information, providers must contact (866)753-9234 at least 30 days before 11/15/2010

If you are currently using PocketScript and know that you would like to continue electronically prescribing in the years to come, DrFirst has access to all the same formulary information and is offering a special discount to former Zix clients. In addition, we will work with you to transfer over your patient data into our system.

Register to see a live demonstration of Rcopia at http://www.drfirst.com/demoLive.jsp.

To view their entire FAQ, visit http://www.zixcorp.com/support/pocketscript_eos.php

About Irene Froehlich:

Ms. Froehlich has been with DrFirst since its inception in 2000. In her role as Director of Marketing, she oversees the planning, directing, and coordinating all marketing and public relations efforts at DrFirst. Ms. Froehlich has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Find all posts by Irene Froehlich | Visit Website

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Mar
16
2010

Surescripts released the highly anticipated 2009 National Progress Report on E-Prescribing last week at HIMSS10, and the results are spectacular. Here are some of the key findings:

  • About 25% of office-based providers are e-prescribing! The number grew from 74,000 at the end of 2008 to 156,000 by the end of 2009.
  • Surescripts can now provide access to prescription benefit and history information for more than 65% of patients in the U.S.
  • About 85% of community pharmacies in the U.S. are connected for e-prescribing; 6 of the largest mail order pharmacies are online.
  • Nearly 81 million prescription histories were delivered to prescribers.
  • 191 million prescriptions were routed electronically.
  • You’re twice as likely to find the full set of electronic services in a standalone system like Rcopia from DrFirst than in an EMR (unless the EMR is a DrFirst partner!).

Surescripts noted that e-prescribing is being driven by a broad set factors including government incentive programs (MIPPA and HITECH), broader CCHIT certification criteria, increased interest from large clinics and health systems, and regional initiatives.

2009 was a year of strong growth for both Surescripts and DrFirst; the tipping point is here!

To read the summaries, or download the full report, visit: http://www.surescripts.com/national-progress-report.aspx

About Cam Deemer:

As President of DrFirst, Mr. Deemer is responsible for driving the development, strategy and management of the company towards exponential growth and success. Mr. Deemer brings more than 12 years of healthcare industry experience to this position. He joined DrFirst in 2005 as the Director of Product Management and most recently served as the Senior Vice President and General Manager, where he managed the company’s tactical operations. Since joining DrFirst, Mr. Deemer has played an instrumental role in formalizing and driving improved business processes, while developing new technology strategies to leverage the benefits of e-prescribing for payers, hospitals, and health systems. He has also been a strong proponent of promoting interoperability in the eHealthcare industry by sharing prescription data between disparate systems. Prior to joining DrFirst in 2005, Mr. Deemer was Assistant Vice President of Product Management for PCS Health Systems/AdvancePCS and also led the e-prescribing and practice management product strategy for NDCHealth/Per Se (currently the RelayHealth division of McKesson).

Find all posts by Cam Deemer | Visit Website

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Mar
11
2010

Weill Cornell Medical College and one of their research teams led by Dr. Rainu Kaushal authored a study published on February 26th in the online version of the Journal of General Internal Medicine on how using an electronic system, instead of writing prescriptions by hand, affects the frequency of prescription errors among ambulatory physicians.

The study closely reviewed 30 health care providers and the 7,000+ prescriptions they wrote over the course of one year. The clinicians using an electronic prescribing system began the study with an above average error percentage at 42.5%, but ended the year long study with only 6.6%, an impressive seven fold decrease. The 15 clinicians writing prescriptions by hand actually saw a very slight increase in the percentage of prescription errors as they went from 37.3% to 38.4% by the end of the year.

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About Tom Sullivan:

Dr. Sullivan is a practicing cardiologist who joined DrFirst in 2004, just after completing his term as President of the Massachusetts Medical Society. He is known throughout the healthcare industry as the father of the Continuity of Care Record (“CCR”) and a leader on the future of healthcare technology. He is assisting DrFirst in ensuring that Rcopia continues to add the functionality necessary to maintain its leadership position both in electronic prescribing and in the channel of communication between various sectors of the healthcare community and the physician. Dr. Sullivan is active in organized medical groups at the state and national level, and is both a delegate to the AMA and the Chairperson of their Council on Medical Service as well as past Co-Chair of the Physicians EHR Consortium.

Find all posts by Tom Sullivan | Visit Website

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