SOURCE: Surescripts

January 15, 2008 09:15 ET

Allscripts Achieves SureScripts GoldRx™ Certification for 2007

Allscripts eRx NOW and TouchWorks Products Attain Advanced Certification for Pharmacy Interoperability

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - January 15, 2008) - SureScripts, operator of the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange™, announced today that Allscripts (NASDAQ: MDRX) has achieved GoldRx advanced product certification for 2007. The announcement signals how two Allscripts products -- eRx NOW™ e-prescribing software and TouchWorks™ electronic health record software -- have gone beyond SureScripts baseline product certification to establish a proven track record in pharmacy interoperability.

"Allscripts is committed to eliminating preventable medication errors by providing physicians the most advanced electronic prescribing technology available today, and this recognition from SureScripts confirms that our solutions have achieved the highest performance levels," said Glen Tullman, chief executive officer of Allscripts. "Communicating through the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange, our clients not only are eliminating error-prone paper and faxed prescriptions, but they are leading the adoption of electronic healthcare, which promises to deliver improved care at lower cost."

"Many physicians are intimidated by new technology and believe that they will lose efficiency during the learning curve when adopting e-prescribing," said Craig Morrow, M.D., Medical Director of Southwest Medical Associates in Las Vegas, the largest multi-specialty physician group in Nevada and a longtime Allscripts user. "But Allscripts e-prescribing is extraordinarily easy to learn and immediately yields dramatic time savings in the prescription and refill process."

"SureScripts and many health IT experts believe that the electronic link between a physician and a pharmacist is the most critical and the most achievable first step toward broader healthcare interoperability," said Rick Ratliff, chief operating officer for SureScripts. "For physicians making an investment in the safety of their patients, the efficiency of their practice and the quality of their own clinical decision making, GoldRx certification helps them know which software vendors are actually delivering on pharmacy interoperability and other critical levels of automation. We congratulate Allscripts on achieving GoldRx product certification for both TouchWorks and eRx NOW for 2007."

Over the past two years, SureScripts has tested and certified the applications of every major e-prescribing and electronic medical record (EMR) vendor in the U.S. More than 105 physician technology solutions -- representing over 150,000 existing physician users -- are certified by SureScripts to enable their software and services to exchange prescription information with local pharmacies. Clinics and physicians that use SureScripts Certified Solutions™ have the ability to electronically connect to pharmacies in their community and, as a result, have an unprecedented opportunity to improve the prescribing process.

Today, however, the vast majority of these estimated 150,000 physician users have not taken the simple step to take advantage of pharmacy interoperability. In many cases, physicians are unaware that electronic pharmacy access is available to them, as they are still using older versions of their vendors' software (i.e., versions that have no electronic pharmacy connection). The result: New prescriptions are generated by computers, yet received by fax; refill requests are processed by phone and fax; patients' medication histories from community pharmacies are unavailable to physicians; and patients' formulary and eligibility information is not as complete as it could be.

SureScripts advanced certification gives special status to Allscripts and other vendors that find this situation unacceptable -- and that are meeting SureScripts' criteria to do something about it.

The criteria for SureScripts GoldRx certification status goes beyond product compliance with technical standards. Advanced certification is guided by benchmarks for vendor performance across a number of categories:

--  Customer Education -- vendors must raise awareness among their
    existing physician customers of the opportunity to communicate new
    prescription and refill information with pharmacists electronically.
--  Proven Pharmacy Interoperability -- vendors must make pharmacy
    interoperability part of every new client installation.
--  Advanced Medication Management -- vendors must enable their
    applications to receive medication history from community pharmacies, as
    well as formulary/eligibility services from the payers and PBMs certified
    by SureScripts.
--  Workflow Enhancements -- vendors must meet specific service-level
    requirements related to the operations of the Pharmacy Health Information
    Exchange. Vendors must also implement changes to their software based on
    best practices for automating the prescription process. For example, in
    2007, a vendor's software application must contain a "single send button"
    for the physician to click on and transmit the electronic prescription to
    the pharmacy. This seemingly minor detail was identified by field
    researchers at SureScripts who have observed the confusion and delays
    caused by a multiple choice of send buttons (i.e. "print," "fax," and
    "electronic") in thousands of physician practices using a variety of e-
    prescribing and EMR applications.
--  Demonstrable Expertise -- GoldRx certification status signals that a
    software or service provider has met a number of benchmarks for "live"
    customer deployments -- i.e. that they have electronically connected new
    and existing physician users to the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange.
    This advanced certification criteria is particularly noteworthy and timely
    given the federal government's recent ruling to no longer allow computer
    generated faxing of prescriptions covered by the Medicare Part D program
    beginning January 1, 2009. This federal mandate will require all e-
    prescribing and EMR vendors to ensure that all of their physician users
    prescribe electronically instead of by computer generated fax.

Tracking a Vendor's Certification Status

Physicians and health IT industry watchers can track the status of a vendor's baseline, GoldRx certifications at

About SureScripts

Founded by the pharmacy industry in 2001, SureScripts® operates the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange™, which facilitates the secure electronic transmission of prescription information between physicians and pharmacists and provides access to lifesaving information about patients during emergencies or routine care. Working collaboratively with health plans, health systems, technology vendors and health policy leaders, SureScripts is committed to improving the safety, efficiency, and quality of the prescribing process. More information about SureScripts is available at

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