New e-prescribing guide available

Source: Healthcare IT News

Five partner organizations today issued an updated 2011 edition of A Clinician’s Guide to Electronic Prescribing. This “how-to” guide helps health care professionals make informed decisions about how and when to transition from paper to e-prescribing systems.

First created in 2008, the new edition of the Guide includes information on the changing healthcare information technology (HIT) environment. The guide is the result of a collaborative effort by the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American College of Physicians (ACP), the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), e-Health Initiative (e-HI), and The Center for Improving Medication Management.

“Whether a physician practice is just beginning to e-prescribe or is already using the technology, this guide is an important resource for all physicians,” said AMA Board Secretary Steven J. Stack, M.D. “This updated guide includes information about the federal e-prescribing incentive program and can help physicians understand the requirements so they can receive incentives and avoid penalties.”

“When this tool was first developed three years ago, it proved immensely valuable to clinicians,” said William F. Jessee, MD, FACMPE, president and CEO of MGMA and Board chair for e-HI. “The 2011 revisions bring the Guide up to date with the rapid changes in this arena and make it essential reading for every prescriber.”

Since the original release of this guide, the health care environment has changed dramatically. The changes include continued growth in e-prescribing adoption and use, the passage of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, the Drug Enforcement Agency’s rule allowing e-prescribing of controlled substances, and healthcare reform. Each of these topics and their implications for practices and e-prescribing are discussed in more detail in the 2011 guide.

A small team from the collaborating organizations reviewed the original guide and developed a new outline that incorporated critical new information from the last few years. The team developed new content, streamlined existing content and organized the guide into an easy-to-use format. To ensure that it was a robust and accurate resource for clinicians, the group also sought the input of a broader group of healthcare stakeholders, including Quincy Medical Group, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), Excellus, Walgreens, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“With all the momentum around e-prescribing and its accelerated growth, it is important to assist physicians and other prescribers to ensure that e-prescribing is implemented well,” said Mary Ann Chaffee, senior vice president of external affairs at Surescripts. “This is critical to achieving the greatest gains in safety, efficiency and improved outcomes. This guide provides substantial detail not only on how to get started but what challenges to expect and how to overcome them.”

The 2011 edition of A Clinician’s Guide to Electronic Prescribing is available at: American Medical Association?Medical Group Management Association?The Center for Improving Medication Management.