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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Announces One Millionth E- Prescription in Illinois
Date:8/10/2009

Over 143,000 drug/allergy errors flagged; 27% of scripts changed, cancelled

CHICAGO, Aug. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) announced today that physicians and health care providers in the Illinois E-Prescribing Collaborative reached a major milestone in their e-prescribing efforts - the one millionth "e-prescription" was transmitted electronically last month.

"E-prescribing enhances patient care and prevents errors," says Scott Sarran, M.D., BCBSIL's chief medical officer. "E-prescribing reduces the potential for drug interactions, which can be extremely harmful, and even fatal in some cases, and it can eliminate the potential for errors that can occur if pharmacists can't read hand-written prescriptions."

E-prescribing's benefits

Once they determine which medication is most appropriate for the patients, physicians use automated data entry systems, such as desktop computers, handheld devices or personal computer tablets, to submit prescriptions electronically to patients' pharmacies of choice. E-prescribing gives physicians real-time access to important safety and prescription coverage information, which can inform their prescribing decisions. The technology has been widely recognized for its ability to improve patient safety, increase practice efficiency and reduce costs.

Sarran says that since BCBSIL launched the e-prescribing program in April 2007, more than 119,000 possible drug interactions have been flagged. As a result, nearly 20 percent of prescriptions were changed or cancelled.

Based on national trends, more than 670,000 prescriptions will be changed and cancelled in 2009, due to drug interaction warnings, and more than 53,600 prescriptions will be changed or cancelled due to drug allergy warnings.

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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
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