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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Boston Globe Health and Science staff:
Karen Weintraub, Deputy Health and Science Editor, and Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor.
Short White Coat blogger Ishani Ganguli
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Mass. leads in e-prescribing
Massachusetts physicians rank first in the country for sending prescriptions electronically in 2006, according to SureScripts, a company that transmits information between physicians and pharmacists. The state was third last year.
The ranking is based on the number of prescriptions routed electronically as a percentage of the total number of prescriptions that could be sent to pharmacies that way.
"This award recognizes how far advanced the efforts are in Massachusetts," John Glaser, chief information officer at Partners HealthCare, said in an interview from New Orleans, where he was attending a conference of the Health Information and Managements Systems Society. "But none of us believes that we are done."
Between 40 percent and 50 percent of prescriptions are entered by Massachusetts physicians electronically, Glaser said, but a smaller percentage are transmitted to pharmacies. That misses an opportunity for a pharmacist to check for possible interactions with medications ordered by another physician, patient allergies, or cheaper but therapeutically equivalent drugs.
State Senator Richard Moore of Uxbridge accepted the e-prescribing award at the conference.
SureScripts operates an exchange used by 95 percent of pharmacies in the United States.