ePocrates Inc. is specialised in providing clinical information to physicians and other health care professionals at the point of care with its products having shown a positive impact on patient safety, health care efficiency, and ultimately patient satisfaction. In particular, medical errors is one area of concern that ePocrates addresses through a combination of its comprehensive drug reference database along with its information on contra-indications, adverse reactions and its Multicheck feature which allows for checking drug interactions on up to 30 drugs simultaneously.
According to the Institute of Medicine, inappropriate medical treatment is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States accounting for as many as 98.000 deaths in 2000. One of the most common causes of these inappropriate deaths is prescribing the wrong medicine, which accounts for an estimated 19.000 of the deaths each year.
"The purpose of the eHealth Award is to recognize and promote high quality eHealth products that have made a real difference. Because this award is conferred by peers, it is particularly notable", stated Tom Eng, VMD, MPH, president and founder of the eHealth Institute, a private, charitable non-profit organisation that seeks to harness the power of information and communication technologies, especially the Internet, to improve health for all.
"ePocrates is committed to developing objective and relevant clinical reference applications that take advantage of the best technologies. Because ePocrates strives to impact not only health care efficiency but also patient safety and satisfaction, it is truly an honour to receive the eHealth Impact Award", stated ePocrates President and CEO John Voris. "It is especially gratifying to be recognized by such a diverse array of health care organisations."
Summit registrants, alumni, invitees, sponsors, and others involved with the Summit were asked to submit nominations for the Award along with nominees put forward by the Nominations Committee. The nominees were then reviewed based on a set of criteria related to impact and significance and Summit participants voted for the winner at the annual meeting. Co-winners ePocrates and WebMD received an equal number of votes.
The Summit attendees include about 135 eHealth executives and managers involved in eHealth development and/or funding, and represent organisations such as Aventis, Bank of America, Baxter, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, California HealthCare Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CSC, GE, Kaiser Permanente, Harvard University, IDX, Intel, Kodak, Microsoft, National Cancer Institute, National Library of Medicine, Pfizer, Purdue Pharma, SAIC, Schering-Plough, Siemens, Stanford University, United States Department of Health and Human Services, and many more.
The following criteria were considered related to the degree and nature of the impact of the nominees' application and/or products on health or health care:
- Number of people and/or organisations positively affected and degree of impact
- Characteristics of the target population(s)
- Gravity and severity of the health issue addressed
- Sustainability of the application/product either through commercial or non-profit channels
- Effectiveness of the application/product