The state’s largest system of hospitals and clinics announced an initiative this week to try and get more doctors to use an electronic system when writing prescriptions. Glen Tullman is the C-E-O of Allscripts, the company that is providing the electronic method for prescribing the medication for Iowa Health Systems. Tullman says the electronic system does more than just send and order to a pharmacy.
He says it will provide physicians with a complete medication database, prescription history and a way to write electronic prescriptions and route them to a pharmacy. Tullman says it will eliminate problems with bad handwriting, lost prescriptions and will make it easier to renew prescriptions. Tullman says the “e-prescribe” system can improve the health of patients.
Tullman says the non-partisian Institute of Medicine did a study that showed that each year seven-thousand Americans die and over 1.5 million are injured from preventable medication errors. Tullman says less than three percent of all prescriptions written in 2008 were electronic. He says that should be higher with the technology available.
He says if you took a son or daughter to the doctor for what you thought was a broken and arm and the doctor said he wouldn’t use an x-ray because it was a new technology, you would probably go to another doctor. Tullman says it should be the same way if your doctor does not want to use the electronic prescription service. The new partnership between Iowa Health System and Allscripts offers a free web-based e-prescribing option to physicians throughout Iowa.