The vendors were assigned several test patients in advance and also were given several challenging prescriptions on the spot. Dr. Tom Doerr, an internist and co-founder of Wellinx, demonstrated the system during the challenge.
The Wellinx system stood out in several clinical scenarios. One test was to replace a prescription for Vioxx in a patient with a severe allergy to aspirin. Ibuprofen and Celebrex were suggested as possible replacements, but the system reminded Dr. Doerr that there are no long-term safety data to favour the use of Celebrex and that one-third of patients with aspirin allergies will cross-react and be allergic to Celebrex, causing a severe reaction. Dr. Doerr went on to treat the test patient with Tylenol Arthritis.
For a three year old boy with a middle ear infection, Wellinx reminded the doctor of recently published guidelines recommending twice the traditional dose of amoxicillin to counter emerging resistance. Wellinx also enabled Dr. Doerr to add instructions to "Fill only if the child does not improve within 48 hours" and supply the parent with a handout explaining the new guidelines. About 90 percent of children with middle ear infections improve within two days without antibiotics, and studies have documented excellent clinical outcomes as well as parental satisfaction with such contingent instructions.
Dr. Doerr noted: "A health plan in Wisconsin has recently documented the ability of Wellinx to dramatically lower the costs of health care in a controlled trial of pharmacotherapeutic outcomes published in the current issue of the Annals of Family Medicine. The primary outcome of the Wisconsin study was economic, since it is difficult to quantitate improvements in the quality of health care. However, the ePrescribing challenge showcased the ability of Wellinx decision support information to improve the quality of health care by helping doctors make wiser patient care decisions."
Barry Blumenfeld of Partners HealthCare stated: "The ePrescribing challenge is a great way to view and compare e-prescribing applications head to head. Wellinx distinguishes themselves with their focus on evidence-based support for decision-making."
Wellinx goes beyond simply automating clinical work flow by delivering context-specific, evidence-based, decision support to busy clinicians without slowing them down. Wellinx leads the industry in physician utilization with more than 13 new prescriptions written per physician per day, and is the only electronic prescriber proven in a peer-reviewed study to reduce outpatient medication costs. Wellinx also supports generic dispensing programmes which increase convenience and reduce costs for patients. More company news is available in the VMW August 2002 article Wellinx enhances wireless options for real time patient data access and disease management.