September 21, 2006
Wilmington, DE ⎯ Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware (BCBSD) is partnering with DrFirst to provide an
electronic prescription management system to 150 physicians in the BCBSD network. The pilot program
will address the issue of patient safety and respond to a recent report from the Institute of Medicine,
Preventing Medication Errors, that recommends all health providers and pharmacies install electronic
prescribing (e-prescribing) systems by 2010.
The Institute of Medicine report estimated that 7,000 patient deaths and 1.5 million injuries occur
every year due to medication errors. Many of these mistakes are due to poor communication among
health professionals and patients, and faulty systems for distributing and dispensing medication.
E-prescribing systems can overcome difficulties with illegible handwriting and identify drug
allergies, adverse reactions and potentially excessive dosages of medications. BCBSD’s pilot program
provides physicians with personal digital assistants (PDAs) and DrFirst’s Rcopia™ software to allow them
to access up to 10 years of their patients’ medication histories, including active medications, allergy
information and diagnosis information. The system also recommends generic replacements for brand
name drugs, when appropriate.
Using the PDAs, physicians can confidentially transmit a new prescription or renewal
electronically to a patient’s retail or mail order pharmacy, minimizing the time that physicians and
pharmacists spend on phone calls and faxes regarding prescriptions. The system also prevents errors
due to illegible handwriting and the mistyping of prescription information into the pharmacy database. It
further benefits the patient by eliminating a trip to the pharmacy to drop off the prescription to be filled.
The physicians participating in the pilot program will be able to use the system for all patients, not
just those with BCBSD coverage.
“By enrolling the physicians who write the highest volume of prescriptions for our members, we
expect to improve prescription drug safety, convenience and costs for our members throughout the state,”
said Dr. Paul A. Kaplan, BCBSD’s Chief Medical Officer. “This technology has the potential to improve
one of the most basic parts of the medical process and one of the last aspects of the health care system
to use information technology.”
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware. In its 70th year of
service, BCBSD offers a comprehensive portfolio of health benefits products to nearly 384,000
customers. BCBSD is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. More
information about BCBSD is available at bcbsde.com.
DrFirst is a national provider of physician connectivity services through its award-winning Rcopia
electronic prescription management system. Founded in 2000, DrFirst creates innovative services
targeted to physicians in both ambulatory and acute care environments. With a strong emphasis on
products that link physicians, patients, pharmacies and payers, DrFirst works to lower health care costs
while improving clinical outcomes. DrFirst also provides leading edge secure text messaging platforms.
™Trademark of DrFirst, Inc.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware and CareFirst, Inc., are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.