Electronic Prescribing Gains Lead Call-to-Action with Health Care Stakeholders

Thursday, December 11, 2008 | 4:33am

NASHVILLE – Governor Phil Bredesen today announced an important step in the state’s electronic health information strategy as he launched e-Prescribe Tennessee, a collaboration of health care leaders who will work to accelerate the use of electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) in Tennessee.

Bredesen announced the launch at the first e-Prescribe Tennessee Stakeholder Summit in Nashville.
“We are on the threshold of making e-prescribing the primary way providers and consumers fill and refill prescriptions in Tennessee,” Bredesen said. “As a collaborative of major health care stakeholders, e-Prescribe Tennessee is our way forward in using e-prescribing to improve health outcomes, reduce health care costs and enhance health care efficiency.”
E-prescribing is the use of secure health care information technology when filling and re-filling prescriptions to improve accuracy, increase patient safety and reduce costs.  
The mission of e-Prescribe Tennessee will be to coordinate and encourage e-prescribing adoption among health care providers, pharmacies and consumers. Specifically, e-Prescribe Tennessee will: 
• Work with health care providers and pharmacies to help them incorporate e-prescribing into their daily workflow;
• Establish requirements for e-prescribing standards and capability;
• Educate Tennessee’s health care community about e-prescribing best practices;
• Create outreach and education programs for consumers about the benefits of e-prescribing;
• Evaluate recommendations to remove barriers to e-prescribing adoption in the state.
The organization will consist of a steering committee, advisory committee and specific working groups made up of stakeholder volunteers who will govern the organization’s operation.
Health care organizations participating in the e-Prescribe Tennessee Stakeholder Summit included representatives of statewide practitioner groups, major health plans, the Tennessee General Assembly, state-level health initiatives and the Tennessee e-Health Advisory Council.
“Tennessee has made early wins in e-prescribing,” Bredesen said. “Fortunately for Tennessee, we have a strategy in e-Prescribe Tennessee to proceed with confidence and increase our e-prescribing momentum.”
Tennessee health care providers issued 1.5 million electronic prescriptions in 2008, a 160 percent increase over 2007.
In fact, 3 percent of all prescriptions written in Tennessee in 2008 were issued electronically, compared with 1.1 percent in 2007.
Additionally, the number of Tennessee’s active electronic prescribers in 2008 grew 127 percent to 1,792, compared to 782 in 2007 and 211 in 2006.
Tennessee’s Office of e-Health Initiatives paved the way for the launch of e-Prescribe Tennessee after requiring recipients of the office’s physician connectivity grants to e-prescribe for two years. 
“In organizing Tennessee’s overall e-prescribing strategy, and e-Prescribe Tennessee in particular, we looked at e-Prescribe Florida,” said Finance and Administration Commissioner Dave Goetz. “Until  e-Prescribe Tennessee launched, e-Prescribe Florida had been the only coordinating body in the nation dedicated primarily to bringing major health care stakeholders together to increase adoption of e-prescribing at a statewide level.”
Representatives from the Office of e-Health Initiatives will serve in an advisory capacity on
e-Prescribe Tennessee’s committees and work groups.
The Office of e-Health Initiatives is the single coordinating authority for the exchange of electronic health information in Tennessee and works to improve the health of Tennesseans by ensuring providers have complete patient information at the point of care.
For more information on e-Prescribe Tennessee, visit www.eprescribetennessee.com.
For more information on the Office of e-Health, visit www.tennesseeanytime.org/ehealth or call 615-532-5041.

e-Health Initiatives