Commentary on medical news by a practicing physician.

  • Epocrates MedSearch Drug Lookup


    "When many cures are offered for a disease, it means the disease is not curable" -Anton Chekhov

    ''Once you tell people there's a cure for something, the more likely they are to pressure doctors to prescribe it.''
    -Robert Ehrlich, drug advertising executive.

    "Opinions are like sphincters, everyone has one." - Chris Rangel

    email: medpundit-at-ameritech.net

    or if that doesn't work try:


    Medpundit RSS

    Quirky Museums and Fun Stuff

    Who is medpundit?

    Tech Central Station Columns

    Book Reviews:
    Read the Review

    Read the Review

    Read the Review

    More Reviews

    Second Hand Book Reviews


    Medical Blogs


    DB's Medical Rants

    Family Medicine Notes

    Grunt Doc




    Code Blog: Tales of a Nurse

    Feet First

    Tales of Hoffman

    The Eyes Have It


    SOAP Notes


    Cut-to -Cure

    Black Triangle



    Kevin, M.D

    The Lingual Nerve

    Galen's Log



    Doctor Mental



    Finestkind Clinic and Fish Market

    The Examining Room of Dr. Charles

    Chronicles of a Medical Mad House



    Health Facts and Fears

    Health Policy Blogs

    The Health Care Blog

    HealthLawProf Blog

    Facts & Fears

    Personal Favorites

    The Glittering Eye

    Day by Day


    The Business Word Inc.

    Point of Law

    In the Pipeline


    Tim Blair

    Jane Galt

    The Truth Laid Bear

    Jim Miller

    No Watermelons Allowed

    Winds of Change

    Science Blog

    A Chequer-Board of Night and Days

    Arts & Letters Daily

    Tech Central Station





    The Skeptic's Dictionary

    Recommended Reading

    The Doctor Stories by William Carlos Williams

    Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82 by Elizabeth Fenn

    Intoxicated by My Illness by Anatole Broyard

    Raising the Dead by Richard Selzer

    Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy

    The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks

    The Sea and Poison by Shusaku Endo

    A Midwife's Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich



    American Academy of Pediatrics

    General Health Info

    Travel Advice from the CDC

    NIH Medical Library Info



    Tuesday, February 15, 2005

    Regulating the Information Highway: The Department of Health and Human Services is contemplating rules for e-prescribing. What's e-prescribing?:

    Electronic prescribing, or 'e-prescribing,' enables a physician to transmit a prescription electronically to the patient's choice of pharmacy. It also enables physicians and pharmacies to obtain from drug plans information about the patient's eligibility and medication history.

    Having access to this information at the point of care makes writing, filling and receiving prescriptions quicker and easier, and it also makes it possible for physicians and pharmacies to make informed decisions about appropriate and lower-cost therapeutically-equivalent alternative medications.

    E-prescribing can improve patient safety and reduce avoidable health care costs by decreasing prescription errors due to hard-to-read physician handwriting and by automating the process of checking for drug interactions and allergies. E-prescribing can also help make sure that patients and health professionals have the best and latest medical information at hand when they make important decisions about choosing medicines, and enabling beneficiaries to get the most benefits at the lowest cost.

    Most pharmacies already communicate with patients' health insurance plans to make sure the drug they're dispensing is covered. But most doctors don't send the prescription in electronically. Would that reduce errors? I suppose that's why they want to establish standards:

    Standards for communicating and interpreting health data are essential for obtaining greater benefits of e-prescribing. The current lack of common standards is a barrier to the use of health information technology, including e-prescribing. Adoption of e-prescribing standards by Medicare is expected to spur the use of e-prescribing throughout the nation's health care system.

    It would be nice to be able to submit prescriptions directly to the pharmacy via the internet. As the standard makers point out, those prescriptions account for an awful lot of phone traffic jams in doctors' offices and pharmacies:

    Dispensers also must frequently call the prescriber to obtain approval for refills or renewals where they are not specified on the prescription or when they have run out. According to some estimates, almost 30 percent of the 3 billion prescriptions written annually [1] require dispenser calls. [2] This equals 900 million prescription-related telephone calls annually.

    Actually, I'm not sure how much of those phone calls would be eliminated by an electronic system. Most of my annoying refill requests are generated by patients who are either trying to slide by without their six-month chronic illness check or who don't bother to check the refills on their bottles for some reason.

    At any rate, the government is accepting comments on their proposed rules here.


    posted by Sydney on 2/15/2005 07:35:00 PM 1 comments


    Hey, i like your blog, it's good. Any others? I have two myself. You've got some good ideas here, keep it up!

    health insurance plan quote

    By Blogger Rob, at 11:11 PM  

    Post a Comment

    This page is powered by Blogger, the easy way to update your web site.

    Main Page


    Home   |   Archives

    Copyright 2006