Automated System is the First to Efficiently Incorporate Internal and External Patient Records to Meet Joint Commission Patient Safety Goals
July 16, 2007
For Immediate Release
Fauquier Health System of Warrenton, Virginia has announced that it will be the first health system in the nation to pilot an electronic medication reconciliation system that will improve patient safety by automatically incorporating a patient’s current prescription information into the hospital environment. Created by DrFirst, RcopiaAC (Acute Care) is a new web-based application that will allow Fauquier to incorporate outpatient medication information into the inpatient setting. While some hospitals are beginning to use internal electronic medical reconciliation, Fauquier will be the first to also track external records.
“This is a very significant first as drug errors are causing a national healthcare challenge. When patients arrive in an emergency department they or their families often can’t recall all the medications a patient is taking,” said Donna Staton, CIO of Fauquier Health System. “This can open the door for drug interactions or duplicative prescriptions,” said Staton. Studies show inconsistent medication knowledge and record-keeping threaten patient safety, causing up to 50 percent of all medication-related errors in hospitals and up to 20 percent of all adverse drug events.
Beyond the toll on an individual’s health are drug errors’ economic costs. A 2006 Institute of Medicine study found that each preventable adverse drug event that took place in a hospital added $8,750 to the cost of a hospital stay. This translates to higher health costs, over $13 billion annually, when that figure is multiplied by the at least 1.5 million preventable adverse drug events that the Institute Of Medicine said occurred each year.
Fauquier Health System is working with DrFirst of Rockville, Maryland, to implement this groundbreaking patient safety initiative. DrFirst’s RcopiaAC electronic medication reconciliation application will compile a Fauquier patient’s current prescriptions from various prescription history databases so that any potential new medications can be compared to limit drug interactions. Then, at the end of a patient’s stay this list will be reviewed again to help ensure that any prescriptions made at the time of discharge are also without complications, such as duplicative therapy and interactive medications. The prescription information is also provided to the patient and can be electronically accessed by the patient’s regular physician to ensure a continuum of care.
Another added safeguard through RcopiaAC is the e-prescribing feature that allows physicians to issue electronic prescriptions, thus avoiding yet another common source of drug errors – poor physician handwriting. “Consumers may not be aware that hospitals can build in this level of patient protection,”
Staton said, “but it is definitely a here and now option. All it requires is a commitment to quality and safety. We first started talking about the concept last year, and we began the pilot program in June with a subset of our nursing staff.”
“Even in the short time that this pilot program has been in place we can see that it can make a real and significant difference to patient safety,” said Rodger Baker, the CEO of Fauquier Health System. “Once the word is out, I expect that patients will demand this level of protection from all health systems. We are proud to be the industry leader in this patient safety initiative.”
“DrFirst is very pleased to have worked with Fauquier Health System on their groundbreaking pilot,” said G. Cameron Deemer, President of DrFirst. “We believe that their willingness to invest in their patient’s safety will pave the way for improved patient outcomes around the country. We are excited about this advance as well as our future business role in this positive healthcare development.”
DrFirst is a national provider of physician connectivity services through its award-winning, Surescripts GoldRx Certified Rcopia electronic prescription management system. Founded in 2000, DrFirst creates innovative services targeted to physicians in both ambulatory and acute care environments. DrFirst solutions are widely integrated with practice management and electronic medical records software through its “Open Borders” program, and the company counts among its client base, not only physician practices, but major health plans, health systems, and EMR vendors.
About Fauquier Health System
Fauquier Health System is a non-profit community health system dedicated to high quality, patient-centered care in a unique environment that considers the multiple facets of healing and respects the individuality of each and every patient. Located in Warrenton, Virginia, Fauquier Health System serves the residents of Fauquier and several surrounding counties. It comprises: Fauquier Hospital, a full accredited, 86-bed hospital; Warrenton Overlook Health and Rehabilitation Center, a 150-bed long-term care and rehabilitation facility; and a medically-supervised LIFE Center offering health and wellness programs. It also has a 50% ownership in two joint ventures: Piedmont Home Care, a retail outlet offering medical, home health, and wellness supplies, and the Cancer Center at Lake Manassas, a state-of-the-art radiation treatment facility. In 2006, Fauquier Health System provided $4.4 million in charity care to its community. More information on Fauquier Health System is available online at
DrFirst also provides leading edge secure text messaging platforms.