Michigan Recognized as National Leader in Use of Electronic Prescribing

Feb 26, 2013, 10:30 ET from Michigan Health Information Network

LANSING, Mich., Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The State of Michigan is being recognized by the federal government as national leaders in the effort to enhance the safety and quality of health care by embracing the use of health information technology.

The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology commended the Michigan Health Information Network (MiHIN), recognizing that 94 percent of pharmacies in the state of Michigan participate in ePrescribing. This means that Michigan doctors are electronically sending patients' prescriptions directly to pharmacies which increases the likelihood of medication compliance and reduces the potential for errors due to handwriting, patients losing prescriptions, or incorrect manual entry into the pharmacy system.

"What makes this accomplishment significant is when you look at its impact on patient safety" said James K. Haveman, Director of the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH). "Broad adoption of electronic prescribing is a critical element of improving patient safety. This is one of many ways Michigan is demonstrating national leadership using health information technology and the health information exchange."

An analysis conducted in Sept. 2012 on a sampling of 27 million e-prescriptions found:

  • A severe or moderate drug-to-drug alert was sent to physicians for more than 7.3 million prescriptions, resulting in 2 million, or 28 percent, of those prescriptions being changed or canceled by the prescribing doctor.
  • Physicians received nearly 1.2 million medication allergy alerts, resulting in more than 323,000, or 27 percent, of those prescriptions being changed or canceled by the prescribing doctor.

Michigan's efforts to improve the quality and safety of healthcare began in 2005 when a diverse group of stakeholders formed the Southeast Michigan ePrescribing Initiative (SEMI), one of the nation's longest running e-prescribing programs. The coalition includes General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Chrysler Group LLC, the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Health Alliance Plan, Henry Ford Medical Group, Express Scripts, CVS Caremark Corporation and Catamaran Corporation.

"We are pleased that the ONC has recognized Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's statewide investment and SEMI's tremendous success in Southeast Michigan promoting electronic prescribing," said Joe Hohner, Executive Vice President, Health Care Value and Information

Technology for BCBSM. "It proves that multiple groups working together can achieve more than single efforts acting alone."

Michigan is hard at work to complete the loop when it comes to improving patients' health. When a patient's treatment plan includes medications, "Electronic prescribing from the provider to the pharmacy successfully automates the first half of the provider-pharmacist exchange," explains Larry Wagenknecht, Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Pharmacists Association and Chairman of the MiHIN Board. "The next step is to ensure electronic communication from the pharmacist back to the provider to enhance patient safety and aid with medication adherence." 

ePrescribing is only one of Michigan's information technology advancements receiving ONC recognition. Current technologies make it easier and safer for doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others to collaborate on their patients' behalf, resulting in fewer errors. Most importantly, this technology allows health care providers and their staff to spend more time actually talking with their patients.

The ONC for Health Information Technology is leading this process, establishing the essential building blocks supporting this secure exchange of health information. They are recognizing states like Michigan who are among the early achievers, one of the 17 of 56 U.S. states and territories being recognized in this vital effort. For more information about Michigan's recognition, visit http://statehieresources.org/grantee-recognition-program/. For more information about health information technology, visit www.healthit.gov or www.mihinss.net.

About Southeast Michigan ePrescribing Initiative (SEMI)

Launched in early 2005, the Southeast Michigan ePrescribing Initiative is one of the largest ePrescribing efforts in the United States. Its primary objectives are to boost adoption and use of ePrescribing, and measure the impact of ePrescribing technology on improving patient safety and reducing prescription drug costs. For more information, go to www.semi-eprescribing.com.

About Michigan Pharmacist's Association (MPA)

Michigan Pharmacists Association, representing the nearly 10,000 pharmacists and 15,000 pharmacy technicians in Michigan, strives to serve members by providing support, advocacy and resources that ultimately improve patient care, safety, health, and the practice of pharmacy.

About Michigan Health Information Network (MiHIN) Shared Services
MiHIN is dedicated to improving the healthcare experience, increasing quality and decreasing cost for Michigan's people by supporting the statewide exchange of health information and making accurate and timely health care data available at the point of care.  MiHIN is the official state designated entity for health information exchange across Michigan and the future integration with the Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN).  MiHIN is a Michigan nonprofit entity, functioning as a public and private collaboration between the State of Michigan, sub-state Health Information Exchanges, payers, providers, and patients. To learn more, visit www.mihin.org.

About the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC)

ONC is the principal Federal entity charged with coordination of nationwide efforts to implement and use the most advanced health information technology and the electronic exchange of health information. The position of National Coordinator was created in 2004, through an Executive Order, and legislatively mandated in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) of 2009. 

About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to 4.4 million members residing in Michigan in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state. The company offers a broad variety of plans including Community Blue, Simply Blue and Healthy Blue Incentives PPOs; Blue Care Network HMO; BCN Healthy Blue Living; Flexible Blue plans compatible with health savings accounts; Medicare Advantage; Part D Prescription Drug plans; and MyBlue products in the under-age-65 individual market. BCBSM also offers dental, vision and hearing plans. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit www.bcbsm.com.

SOURCE Michigan Health Information Network