The TouchScript e-prescribing solution will be used by physicians on Dell Axim X3i Windows mobile-based Pocket PC devices connected directly to the Internet via Cisco Aironet Wireless Access Points. In addition to using the solution on Pocket PCs, physicians and their staff will be able to access the TouchScript solution via a browser from any PC in their practice and even remotely from their home, enabling selected WellPoint network physicians to access patient medication history and write prescriptions anytime and anywhere.
"We believe this initiative will accelerate the growing momentum in the industry for e-prescribing, an application which serves as the first important step for physicians towards an electronic medical record", stated Glen Tullman, Chief Executive Officer of Allscripts Healthcare Solutions. "WellPoint has demonstrated real leadership which can result in safer care for their members and more efficient operations for physicians."
Microsoft's Healthcare and Life Sciences group, acting as WellPoint's technology consultant, was responsible for establishing the hardware and software standards and selecting vendors for the programme. They worked closely with Capgemini, one of the world's largest providers of consulting and technology, consulting, technology and outsourcing services, who is managing the overall project for WellPoint.
"This project is a major leap for clinical automation in health care, nearly doubling the number of physicians who use an e-prescribing application", stated Steve Shihadeh, General Manager of Microsoft's Health Care and Life Sciences Group. "Allscripts' e-prescribing solution, based on proven, easy-to-use Microsoft technology, will contribute to the success of this initiative and to improved efficiency and productivity across the health care industry." Allscripts Healthcare Solutions is a Microsoft health care go-to-market partner and charter member of Microsoft's Mobility Partner Advisory Council (MPAC).
"Since they launched the first handheld e-prescribing tool for physicians in 1999, Allscripts has been an expert in the e-prescribing space and brings a great deal of credibility to this initiative", stated Don Gravlin, Alliance Manager at Capgemini. "We believe that industry leaders like Allscripts, Cisco, Dell, Microsoft, and WellPoint will bring e-prescribing and other technology applications into the mainstream of health care."
Many experts in the health care technology field believe that e-prescribing can significantly reduce the estimated 7000 deaths per year due to medication errors, first reported by the Institute of Medicine in 1999. Efforts are underway from many stakeholders nationally to leverage the potential of e-prescribing. Mark B. McClellan, MD, PhD, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, recently stated that increasing the adoption of electronic medical records and electronic prescribing is one of his top priorities.
Janet Marchibroda, Chief Executive Officer of the eHealth Initiative (eHI), a Washington D.C.-based non-profit organisation whose mission is to improve health care through information, sees this as an important step forward. "This kind of technology sponsorship is key to improving health care and driving adoption of tools that we know will benefit all Americans." The eHI committee recently released a report on electronic prescribing and identified $29 billion of health care systems savings through adoption of this technology.
"Seeing an important member of the eHealth Initiative like Allscripts involved helps raise visibility of the valuable work this committee is doing." The eHI report promotes private sector involvement in improving the national health care system. "This should serve as encouragement to other forward-thinking health care management companies to actively promote these tools as a new standard of care", added Janet Marchibroda.
TouchScript from Allscripts Healthcare Solutions is the most widely used e-prescribing solution in the United States today. Thousands of physicians have written millions of prescriptions using TouchScript. The software enables physicians to quickly generate and send prescriptions from the exam room directly to the pharmacy using a wireless Pocket PC device. With a touch of the screen, TouchScript physicians have instant access to dosing information and insurance formulary status as well as an automatic check for possible drug interactions, prior adverse reactions, and allergies, thus adding a measure of patient safety to each prescription.
Physicians prescribe safely and securely while moving freely from room to room and patient to patient. Phone calls to and from pharmacies are reduced or eliminated. Additionally, TouchScript provides a first step on the pathway to the award-winning TouchWorks electronic medical record (EMR) from Allscripts Healthcare Solutions.
"In the seven years that I've used TouchScript, the e-prescribing software has had a very positive impact on the safety and satisfaction of my patients", commented Azar Korby, MD, a family practice physician in Salem, New Hampshire, and current user of the TouchScript e-prescribing solution. "This technology instills confidence in my patients and helps me make the best decisions for their care."
Allscripts Healthcare Solutions (AHS) is a provider of clinical software, connectivity and information solutions for physicians. The company's TouchWorks software is a modular Electronic Medical Record (EMR) that enhances physician productivity by automating the most common physician activities including prescribing, dictating, capturing charges, ordering labs and viewing results, providing patient education, and documenting clinical encounters.
TouchWorks is available on the latest Tablet PCs, wireless handheld devices, desktop workstations and over the Internet. AHS also offers electronic document imaging and scanning solutions through its Advanced Imaging Concepts subsidiary. Additionally, AHS provides health care product education and market research programmes for physicians through its Physicians Interactive unit and medication fulfilment services through its Allscripts Direct unit. More information is available in the VMW June 2003 article Tennessee physician practice selects TouchWorks for 100 physicians.