Electronic medical records (EMR) and prescriptions can improve the actual delivery of care and services. With that in mind, a coalition of medical, pharmaceutical, and other groups has created a Center for Improving Medication Management.
Based in Washington, D.C., the think tank will study how physicians, pharmacists, and patients can use technology to exchange information and to upgrade how medications are prescribed, used, and evaluated. It will define and disseminate the best practices to reduce medication errors, encourage patient compliance, and enhance outcomes.
“We are confident that the center will bring medication management to the next level and have an impact on accelerating the deployment of technology to improve the safety of the prescribing process,” says Kate Berry, executive director. Berry is also senior vice president of business development for SureScripts, an organization founded by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association.
With SureScripts, center sponsors include the American Academy of Family Physicians, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Humana Inc., Intel Corporation and the Medical Group Management Association.
“Because medication nonadherence is estimated to account for between 10% to 20% of hospital admissions and adds up to $100 billion a year to health care costs in the U.S. alone, innovations related to e-prescription and improving patient’s success in taking medications as prescribed have the potential to improve both clinical and economic outcomes,” says Bern Shen, director of strategic planning at the Intel Digital Health Group.
One of the Center’s first projects is a collaboration with RAND Corporation. “Our goal is to understand how the technical features of e-prescribing systems can facilitate organized prescription handling between physician offices and pharmacies to result in more successful use of e-prescribing, and ultimately, better patient outcomes,” explains Douglas Bell, a RAND research scientist.
“The center is well-positioned to be a trusted source to practices for well-researched, current, practical information on how electronic prescribing, pharmacy interoperability and health information exchange can help them help their patients,” says William F. Jessee, MD, president and CEO of the Medical Group Management Association.