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Ref: Doctors accessing medical information via web

Government Health

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Prescription info now available online in an emergency

BY Nancy Ferris
Published on June 4, 2007 Doctors and pharmacists caring for disaster victims can now obtain medication histories through a new Web service.

The service is named, which is shorthand for In Case of Emergency Prescription Database, makes permanent the type of service cobbled together on short notice in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina wiped out thousands of personal medical records and many of the local drug stores that filled prescriptions.

Using the Web service, in an emergency physicians, pharmacists and other licensed health care professionals can access prescription records compiled from local drug stores, pharmacy benefit managers, state Medicaid programs and other sources.

The service delivers specifics about the prescription, who wrote it and where it was filled. In addition, can provide patient clinical alerts, drug interaction and therapeutic duplication warnings, and other reference information and alerts.

Health care professionals must register on the site before using it and the American Medical Association will authenticate the identities of physicians who register. The information can be delivered to their e-prescribing or e-medical records systems or accessed through the Web portal.

“To be fully prepared and able to respond as quickly as possible during a crisis, the nation must accelerate its push for wide-scale adoption of certified electronic prescribing and electronic medical record software,” said Rick Ratliff, chief operating officer of one of’s sponsors, SureScripts. “Between now and when we achieve this important national goal, will provide a safety net, allowing all physicians and pharmacists to provide better care to those in need during an emergency.”

Other sponsors include Informed Decisions, a provider of drug information; the National Association of Chain Drug Stores; the National Community Pharmacists Association; and RxHub.
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