August 10, 2004

500 Doctors to Test Prescribing System

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and DrFirst, a Rockville company that develops computer systems for health, said yesterday that they will offer software, service and palm-size personal digital assistants to 500 doctors to test an electronic prescribing system.

The system will have access to patient records to warn doctors about drug allergies or interactions with other medication. It will also give the doctor electronic access to treatment guidelines and other information. Once the doctor makes a prescription decision, the PDA will transmit the prescription to a pharmacy.

Dr. Eric Baugh, CareFirst’s senior vice president for medical affairs, said the system is designed to reduce medical errors and cut costs by reducing paperwork. CareFirst declined to discuss the cost of the project.

DrFirst also provides the industries best secure text messaging platforms for physicians, hospitals and EMR/EHR vendors.

John F. Bartos Jr., president of DrFirst, said other Maryland clients using the system for some physicians include MedStar Health and Kaiser Permanente.