Ohio Recognized for e-Prescribing and Patient Safety Efforts

The community pharmacy industry recognized the state of Ohio and three prescribers who practice in the state, including Paul A. Martin, DO, of Dayton, for outstanding efforts to improve patient safety and practice efficiency through the use of electronic prescribing technology. Ohio finished ninth in the nation as part of the second nationwide review and ranking of electronic prescribing activity.

The OOA/OU-COM collaborative Partners in Technology project was singled out as one of the reasons Ohio placed in the Top 10 along with efforts by the Cleveland Clinic and Ohio KePRO.

Martin was commended by leaders from community pharmacy with a Safe- Rx Award.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores, National Community Pharmacists Association and SureScripts, created the Safe-Rx Award to raise awareness of e-prescribing as a more secure, accurate and informed means of prescribing patients medication.

This year's Safe-Rx Awards, announced in late February, follow the release of a report in July of 2006 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that focused national attention on the 1.5 million preventable medication errors that occur in the US each year.

The OOA has been actively involved with OU-COM, University of Findlay School of Pharmacy, and Ohio Pharmacists Association in the Partners in Technology project.

In January 2007, selected pharmacies in Athens began participating in the third and final phase of the study, which is funded by a grant from the Ohio Medical Quality Foundation.

Leading the study are Martha Simpson, DO, and Marc Sweeney, RPh, PharmD.

"During phase III we will be looking at pharmacy and patient satisfaction issues in a limited geographical area." Simpson explained. "We believe, however, that our findings will be generalizable to the entire state."

E-prescribing, or electronic prescription, allows direct electronic transmission of prescriptions to pharmacies. In the future, electronic prescription could possibly open more direct avenues of communication and interaction between pharmacist and physician.

Phase I goals were to identify which elements of electronic prescription software were most important to physicians and pharmacists, select software and hardware for use in the second phase and the document the elements necessary to meet the needs and expectations of pharmacists and physicians. Phase II examined the adoption and utilization of electronic prescribing by physicians.

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