Friday, March 16, 2012

Will Pharmacies Push Docs to Adopt Electronic Records?

The government wants physicians to use EMR.  Affiliated hospitals in many cases would like physicians to use EMR.  And now, an additional encouragement comes from pharmacy chains.  According to this story in Fierce EMR, Walgreens' pharmacies and retail health clinics to share patient data directly to physicians electronically to improve the coordination of care.  7,800 Walgreens and Duane Reed pharmacies and 350 of its associated 'Take Care Clinics' retail clinics  will use Surescripts' network to deliver immunization data and patient summaries to physicians.

The good news about such a system is that physicians can check on their patients in terms of completing prescriptions, rather than having to take their word for it.  

We took note of this in the story, an accommodation for the not-so-paperless:

Cronin pointed out that while the project is designed to share information electronically, physicians will not be precluded from obtaining the information simply because they don't have an EHR. "We'll still get the information to them by fax or regular mail," as well, he said.
 So doctors do not have to use EMR to benefit from the program Still, Kalorama believes that with a major pharmacy chain now submitting information about patients that is easily to adapt into an EMR, the usefulness of adopting a system increases. The more EMR is relevant to all facets of practice, the higher adoption should grow.