Zix Corporation partners with SureScripts for e-Prescribing connectivity between pharmacies and physicians

Dallas 15 June 2004SureScripts, a private company founded by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association, signed an agreement to connect ZixCorp's PocketScript e-prescribing system to its SureScripts Messenger Services, the largest national e-prescribing network to link physician office applications and pharmacy management software. The arrangement provides direct, two-way communication between pharmacists and PocketScript-enabled physicians via computer or handheld devices. This computer-to-computer arrangement, enabled by the SureScripts' network, improves communication, including new prescriptions and renewal authorizations, by eliminating time-consuming phone calls and fax communications.

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"By utilizing SureScripts Messenger Services, PocketScript users can significantly reduce the amount of phone calls they receive from pharmacies", stated Kevin Hutchinson, president and chief executive officer for SureScripts. "e-Prescribing has already proven to reduce errors and improve patient safety, but this extra step of opening communication between pharmacists and physicians eliminates wasted time by making renewal prescriptions and clarification calls easier, faster, and just a more practical way to provide health care in the twenty-first century. We're excited to have PocketScript onboard."

To date, SureScripts has certified more than 50 percent of retail pharmacies in the United States for connection to its network. By this summer, that number is expected to increase to 75 percent. The SureScripts network is already in use in Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Ohio, California, and Arizona. By the end of the year, SureScripts projects its network to be in use in nearly two dozen states.

"SureScripts' mission to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of the prescribing process aligns perfectly with the core principle of PocketScript", stated Daniel S. Nutkis, executive vice president and chief strategy officer for ZixCorp. "Our collaboration with SureScripts ensures that pharmacists in their network have total electronic access to all our PocketScript physicians. It's a win-win situation that increases convenience, effectiveness, and patient safety for the entire health care community."

The enhanced connectivity that SureScripts' services provide also benefits health care payers whose doctors use PocketScript, including WellPoint Health Networks and the eRxCollaborative, a programme founded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) and Tufts Health Plan to provide e-prescribing technology to Massachusetts physicians with the goal of increasing patient safety and improving the efficiency and accuracy of the prescription process.

"The end-to-end connectivity that SureScripts Messenger Services gives our participating PocketScript physicians helps eliminate the risks to patient safety due to legibility problems that occur when using paper-based systems", stated Dr. Robert Mandel, BCBSMA vice president of provider eHealth. "It also helps keep costs low by saving up to an hour a day of phone call verifications between doctors and pharmacists, especially for renewal prescriptions."

With strong support from the pharmacy industry, SureScripts is improving the prescribing process by creating a neutral national electronic prescribing network and by building grassroots support for the acceptance of electronic prescribing. Through its certification process, SureScripts establishes ground rules that safeguard the fairness of the prescribing process.

Zix Corporation is a global provider of e-messaging protection and transaction services. ZixCorp offers a range of solutions to protect organisations from viruses, spam, and electronic attack, as well as enabling secure electronic communications, such as e-mail encryption, e-prescribing, on-line doctor visits, and electronic lab results. ZixCorp helps organisations of any size to streamline operations, reduce risks, and leverage the efficiencies of e-messaging.

More information on SureScripts is available in the VMW March 2004 article MobiHealth forms strategic partnerships with RxHub and SureScripts for safer electronic prescribing. More news on Zix can be found in the VMW April 2004 article Universal Health Services, Christus Health and Mercy Health System select Zix for secure e-messaging services.


Leslie Versweyveld

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