SOURCE: Surescripts

January 24, 2008 13:37 ET

DrFirst Achieves SureScripts GoldRx™ Certification for 2007

DrFirst Rcopia E-Prescribing Software Attains Advanced Certification for Pharmacy Interoperability

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - January 24, 2008) - SureScripts, operator of the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange™, today announced that DrFirst has achieved GoldRx advanced product certification for 2007. The announcement signals how DrFirst's Rcopia e-prescribing software has gone beyond SureScripts baseline product certification to establish a proven track record in pharmacy interoperability.

"We are proud to have achieved this certification for the second consecutive year," said G. Cameron Deemer, president of DrFirst. "Consistently developing our product and operating above the industry standard has been our goal since the inception of Rcopia. Our vision is to be instrumental in creating connected communities across the healthcare continuum."

"With DrFirst Rcopia's direct connections to pharmacies and health plans, it's been an incredible time saver," said Dr. Kevin Gil, a family practitioner from Rockville, Maryland. "My staff particularly loves the ease of prescription writing now. I am thrilled with the extra time it provides me to see more patients."

"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 DrFirst on achieving GoldRx product certification for DrFirst Rcopia 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 DrFirst 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 www.surescripts.com/certified.

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 www.surescripts.com.

About DrFirst

DrFirst is a national provider of physician connectivity services through its award-winning, GoldRx Certified Rcopia electronic prescription management system. Founded in 2000, DrFirst creates innovative services targeted to physicians in both ambulatory and acute care environments. DrFirst solutions are widely integrated with practice management and electronic medical records software through its "Open Borders" program, and the company counts among its client base not only physician practices, but major health plans, health systems, and EMR vendors. DrFirst partners with SureScripts and RxHub for pharmacy connectivity, health plan information, and patient medication history. More information about DrFirst can be found at www.drfirst.com.

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