Tennessee Receives National Recognition for Efforts to Make Prescriptions Paperless

Monday, June 22, 2009 | 6:06am

#2 in Top 5 Most Improved Electronic Prescribing States, Moves Up in Activity Rankings

NASHVILLE – Surescripts, the nation’s largest electronic prescribing network, will present Governor Phil Bredesen with a Safe-Rx Award today as Tennessee joins Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and Vermont as one of the top five most improved electronic prescribing states for 2008.

Electronic prescribing, or e-prescribing, is the secure, electronic transmission, from a medical provider’s computer to a pharmacist’s computer, of a patient’s prescription that needs to be filled or refilled.

“This is a great recognition of Tennessee’s leadership in taking e-prescribing into the mainstream,” Bredesen said.  “I am encouraged that our state’s e-prescribing advances show patients and providers how health information technology will improve health care costs, delivery and safety.”

Bredesen will join Vermont Governor Jim Douglas, Surecripts CEO Harry Totonis and other elected officials for the 4th Annual Safe-Rx Awards ceremony today at the National Press Club in Washington D.C.

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 means of enhancing patient safety by providing a more secure, accurate and informed prescribing process.

Besides the top five most improved e-prescribing states, the Safe-Rx Award recognizes the top 10 e-prescribing states, and three physicians within these states who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, the Safe-Rx E-Prescriber of the Year and the Safe-Rx Evangelist.

Results are based on the annual review and ranking of electronic prescribing activity based on the electronic routing of new prescriptions and refill responses transmitted over the Surescripts network. States are ranked based on the number of prescriptions routed electronically in 2008 as a percentage of the total number of prescriptions eligible for electronic routing.

According to Surescripts’ 2008 results, Tennessee also moves to position 18, up from position 29 in 2007, in the state-by-state rankings of e-prescribing activity.

“Tennessee’s jump in the state rankings from 29th to 18th is testament to the impact that Governor Bredesen and key organizations throughout the state are having on e-prescribing adoption and use,” said Harry Totonis, president and CEO of Surescripts. “This benefits the economy, safety and quality of patient care in communities throughout Tennessee. We hope that their example will inspire and inform many more successful efforts in many more states in the year ahead.”

At the end of 2006, Tennessee had 177 active electronic prescribers and closed out 2007 with 657.

Tennessee finished 2008 with 1,605 electronic prescribers, representing a 144 percent increase over 2007, with 1,120 pharmacies in the state accepting prescriptions electronically.

Tennessee health care providers issued more than 1,788,000 prescriptions in 2008, representing more than four percent of all prescriptions written in the state.

 “It’s our hope to see e-prescribing become a natural part of every health care provider’s workflow because of its practical benefits to patients in providing better care,” Bredesen said.

The Office of e-Health Initiatives is the single coordinating authority for the exchange of electronic health information in Tennessee and works to improve the health of Tennesseans by ensuring providers have complete patient information at the point of care.

For more information on the Office of e-Health Initiatives, visit www.tn.gov/ehealth.

For more information about the Safe-Rx Award, and to view state-by-state e-prescribing rankings, visit the Safe-Rx Web page at www.surescripts.com/Safe-Rx.

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e-Health Initiatives