|December 1, 2004|
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and Caremark Announce Program to Deliver Electronic Prescribing to Tennessee Physicians
Caremark Media Relations, Gerard Carney, 212.515.1941
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Mary Thompson, 423.535.7694
CHATTANOOGA and NASHVILLE, Tenn.— BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and Caremark Rx, Inc. (NYSE: CMX) today announced a program that provides Tennessee physicians with the ability to electronically write prescriptions. The iScribe electronic prescribing tools, developed by Caremark, are designed to streamline the prescription process, increase patient safety and reduce health care costs.
The program will enable physicians in BlueCross provider networks to use the iScribe tools to securely generate prescriptions from their computer or by using a handheld device/PDA. Prescriptions can be printed out in the doctor’s office or sent directly via a secure Internet connection to the patient’s pharmacy of choice.
“Now, with the click of a mouse or touch of a stylus, doctors can e-prescribe medication for their patients,” said Dr. Terry Shea, director of pharmacy services for BlueCross. “Our health plan members and network providers will enjoy the time-saving nature and improved safety features of this technology.”
According to a study in The Journal of the American Medical Association, adverse drug events are the fourth-leading cause of death, costing as much as $136 billion dollars annually. In addition, the Institute of Medicine reports 7,000 deaths per year are attributed to medication errors.
Prescription errors can often be attributed to incorrect dosage, unclear instructions or illegible handwriting. The iScribe system provides legible prescriptions for patients and pharmacists, thus reducing the chance for medical errors. In addition, physicians using iScribe tools will be able to check drug-to-drug interactions at the point of prescribing.
The iScribe system also features an online prescription renewal tool, allowing physicians to easily review incoming prescription renewal requests and respond electronically, reducing phone calls and faxes between the practice and the pharmacy.
“Electronic prescribing delivers critical safety and clinical information to the point of care, empowering physicians to make more informed prescribing decisions and directions,” said Dr. Jan Berger, Caremark senior vice president and chief clinical officer. “iScribe truly integrates the health care delivery process and allows BlueCross to work with doctors and pharmacists to increase the level of quality and safety provided to plan participants.”
To electronically prescribe, BlueCross network physicians will need Internet access and patient permission. From there, the process is designed for speed and accuracy.
“With electronic prescribing, we can begin to realize the long-anticipated benefits of integrated medicine,” Shea said. “And we look forward to expanding and improving on that goal in years to come.”
About Caremark Rx, Inc.
Caremark Rx, Inc. is a leading pharmaceutical services company, providing through its affiliates comprehensive drug benefit services to over 2,000 health plan sponsors and their plan participants throughout the U.S. Caremark’s clients include corporate health plans, managed care organizations, insurance companies, unions, government agencies and other funded benefit plans. The company operates a national retail pharmacy network with over 57,000 participating pharmacies, seven mail service pharmacies, the industry’s only FDA-regulated repackaging plant and 21 specialty pharmacies for delivery of advanced medications to individuals with chronic or genetic diseases and disorders. Additional information about Caremark Rx, Inc. is available on the World Wide Web at www.caremarkrx.com.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.
Return to Press Releases