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Leahy Secures Funds to Support Adoption of Electronic Prescribing in Vermont
Date:10/16/2009

MONTPELIER, Vt., Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- More Vermont physicians will be using electronic prescribing and other health information technology to improve patient care, under a $1 million federal grant secured by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy. The funds announced by Leahy and Vermont Information Technology Leaders, Inc. (VITL), will provide incentives to physicians and independent pharmacies to adopt health information technology.

In June, Vermont was cited by Surescripts as the most improved state for electronic prescribing. The funds secured by Leahy - a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee -- from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will be used to boost the electronic prescribing rate even higher, as VITL will provide electronic prescribing technology and technical assistance to physicians statewide. VITL will also provide technical assistance and financial incentives to Vermont independent retail pharmacies to join the Surescripts national e-prescription network.

"Sending prescriptions to pharmacies electronically is an important advance in patient safety," said Sen. Leahy. "Physicians using electronic prescribing technology are alerted to potential allergies and drug interactions. When the electronic prescription is received at the pharmacy, pharmacists no longer have to decipher physician handwriting. There is much less chance of errors being made."

"Electronic prescribing improves patient care, as prescribers have instant access to the patient's medication history and allergy list no matter where they are," said David Cochran, M.D., VITL's president and CEO. "It is also a convenience that physicians can offer their patients, as the patient no longer has to carry a paper prescription to the pharmacy and prescriptions sent electronically are often ready when the patient arrives."

VITL is the state-funded provider of health information technology infrastructure for Vermont's
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SOURCE VITL
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