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SOLUTION UPDATE:  McKesson Enhances E-Prescribing Solution Through Complete, End-to-End Connectivity
posted on: February 7, 2005

ATLANTA, GA -- Amid national calls to improve patient safety through electronic prescribing, McKesson has further strengthened its leadership with complete, end-to-end connectivity in the prescription writing process. Through relationships with RxHub and SureScripts, McKesson is the only company to offer comprehensive e-prescribing solutions integrated with its ambulatory electronic health record (EHR) and retail pharmacy solutions. These powerful e-prescribing assets enable McKesson to fully connect physicians, patients, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), and retail pharmacies to drive community-wide efficiencies, cost reductions and improved patient safety.

"With the addition of end-to-end connectivity, McKesson is uniquely positioned to drive e-prescribing adoption throughout the ambulatory medication management process," said Sunny Sanyal, group president for clinical solutions, McKesson Provider Technologies. "We lead the industry in terms of application strength, distribution resources, and most importantly, our relationships with physicians, retail pharmacies, payors and pharmaceutical manufacturers. And based on work with our customers, we've found that our e-prescribing solution is the perfect steppingstone toward broader EHR adoption in physician offices."

Paper-based prescribing processes remain time-consuming and extremely vulnerable to human error. Experts estimate that pharmacies place 150 million telephone calls annually to physicians regarding prescriptions, and more than 51 million ambulatory prescribing errors occur in the United States alone. With total prescription volume predicted to reach 4 billion by 2006, the proliferation of electronic prescribing has the potential to dramatically impact the cost and quality of physician office-based care delivery.

By adding connectivity to its e-prescribing offering, McKesson is leading the way in the broadscale adoption required to improve quality and safety while reducing costs. Through connectivity to RxHub, a healthcare network of up-to-date medication histories and pharmacy benefit information, McKesson's Prescription Writer automatically checks patient drug benefit eligibility and formulary information before the prescription is written. Practices can also download patient medication history with appropriate consent to provide a more complete medication history, which improves safety in the prescribing process.

McKesson has an agreement with SureScripts, the nation's largest provider of electronic prescribing connectivity between physicians and pharmacists, so that physicians using McKesson's ambulatory electronic health record will be able to electronically transmit new prescriptions and refill authorizations to retail pharmacies via the SureScripts network. At the same time, McKesson's Pharmaserv(r) e-prescribing solution for retail pharmacies can accept new prescriptions, route refill renewal requests and receive physician authorization for renewals through the SureScripts Network directly, eliminating paper from the prescribing process and improving efficiency and safety.

Physician Practices Chart Path to Success

Physician adoption of McKesson's e-prescribing solution has proven to be an excellent entry point for organizations on the path to a full EHR system. According to David Trachtenbarg, M.D., medical director, Family Practice Clinics at Methodist Medical Center in Peoria, Ill., McKesson's understanding of physician workflow enabled the practice to take an incremental approach to deploying its EHR solution. "We started with electronic prescribing because it's easy to use," said Trachtenbarg. "Physicians feel comfortable with prescription writing after an hour of training, which enabled us to quickly achieve broadscale adoption and a volume of approximately 22,000 electronic prescriptions each month." With the early victory of e-prescribing, Methodist has been able to successfully implement encounter documentation and plans to continue its EHR implementation with intelligent ordering and results reporting later this year.

Medical Associates Clinic, the oldest multi-specialty group in Iowa, has implemented McKesson's solution to streamline the prescribing process. The practice, based in Dubuque, Iowa, has 140 physicians in more than 30 specialties handling more than 500,000 patient visits a year. "We currently have more than 100 providers e-prescribing with a total volume of more than 25,000 e-prescriptions each month. We expect our entire practice to be writing electronic prescriptions later this year," said Brian Schatz, chief operating officer at Medical Associates Clinic. "E-prescribing is efficient for our physicians and making our nursing processes much more efficient. And our patients are safer and happier."

McKesson's e-prescribing and ambulatory solutions will be on display at HIMSS in a specially configured "physician practice" setting adjacent to the main McKesson Booth No. 3011.

About McKesson Corporation

McKesson Corporation is a Fortune 16 healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to helping its customers deliver high-quality healthcare by reducing costs, streamlining processes, and improving the quality and safety of patient care. Over the course of its 170-year history, McKesson has grown to provide pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management across the spectrum of care; healthcare information technology for hospitals, physicians, homecare and payors; hospital and retail pharmacy automation; and services for manufacturers and payors designed to improve outcomes for patients. For more information, visit us at www.mckesson.com.

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