Newark Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) announced today that it is investing $500,000 in select network hospitals to help with the implementation costs of an electronic medication history pilot program. Horizon BCBSNJ is the first insurer in the nation to invest in this innovative safety initiative.
“The impressive and valuable part of this program is that when patients check into a hospital or emergency room their medication histories will be known in real time,” said Doctor Richard Popiel, Vice President & Chief Medical Officer, Horizon BCBSNJ. “Physicians will be immediately aware of medications the patient is currently taking or may have taken in the past. This will make hospital visits safer, more efficient and reduce the chance of adverse drug reactions to medications administered to patients. The program will be 100% private and secure.”
An early adopter of the program is Chilton Memorial Hospital (Morris County). Horizon BCBSNJ is providing 85% of the costs of implementing the Electronic Medication History program up to $40,000. Up to 8 network hospitals are expected to join the program by the end of 2008.
Sal Ferrito, RPh, MS, Director of Pharmacy at Chilton Memorial Hospital explains, “We are thrilled to work with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey to implement this technology that will make the emergency room a safer place for our patients. When time is of the essence, we are increasingly being faced with individuals on multiple medications that cannot recall the name or specifics about their medications. This system will provide us with their medication record, so that we are informed of the medications they are taking at home and can assure the correct continuity of care. It can also help us assess compliance with the drug. The program is an excellent tool in helping prevent adverse drug reactions and medication errors by allowing us to access information that was not previously available to us at the point of hospitalization.”
“We believe Chilton Memorial Hospital will experience an immediate impact on their workflow through utilization of the RcopiaAC system to access patient medication lists. The patient’s medication history will help the hospital avoid omissions, duplications, and interactions that may lead to medication errors or ADEs (adverse drug events) and will reduce administrative costs,” said G. Cameron Deemer, President of DrFirst. “Horizon BCBS, through their financial contribution, and Chilton Memorial have taken a major step toward improving patient safety.”
How E-Medication History Works
The program will be administered through RcopiaAC MedHx by DrFirst which connects to the largest and most comprehensive medication history data sources available in the market. RcopiaAC collects, displays, and documents patient medication history information at the time of admission and connects directly to hospitals taking part in the program. When a patient is admitted into the hospital, RcopiaAC will send an electronic medical history request to multiple sources including RxHub, Surescripts, DrFirst’s nationwide network of Rcopia e-prescribing users, and DrFirst’s EMR Open Borders partners. When medication history information is found, it will be submitted back to the hospital. The system will be completely automated and the information will be relayed in real time.
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is the oldest and largest health insurer in the state serving over 3.5 million members. Horizon BCBSNJ is New Jersey’s only not-for-profit, health services corporation and is headquartered in Newark with offices in Wall, Mt. Laurel, and West Trenton.
Horizon BCBSNJ provides a broad array of health and dental insurance products and services for individuals and small and large companies, including national companies headquartered in New Jersey. Horizon BCBSNJ is committed to improving the health care experience for all the communities we serve as well as helping our members become and stay health. Horizon BCBSNJ’s Web site is located at www.HorizonBlue.com Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
About Chilton Memorial Hospital
Chilton Memorial Hospital is a fully accredited, 256-bed, acute-care, community hospital. In 2007 and 2008, Chilton Memorial received the HealthGrades Specialty Excellence Award in Stroke Care and was ranked in the top 5% nationwide for stroke care. Its many services include the Chilton Cancer Center, the Comprehensive Breast Center, a Cardiac Catheterization/Angiography Suite, the Family Care Center, a family-centered obstetrics program featuring home-like labor/delivery/recovery rooms, state-of-the-art Emergency department, a pain management center, the accredited Sleep Health Institute, the Comprehensive Wound Healing Center featuring Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, American Diabetes Association-recognized diabetes education program and a Bariatric (weight-loss) Surgery Program that has been named a Bariatric Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. The Hospital is located at 97 West Parkway in Pompton Plains, NJ 07444. For more information about Chilton Memorial Hospital’s facilities and services, or to find a doctor by name, specialty, or location, please visit the Hospital’s website at www.chiltonmemorial.org or call 1-888-CHILTON.
DrFirst is a national provider of physician connectivity services through its award-winning, GoldRx Certified Rcopia electronic prescription management system and secure text messaging platform. Founded in 2000, DrFirst creates innovative services targeted to physicians in both ambulatory and acute care environments. DrFirst solutions are widely integrated with practice management and electronic medical records software through its “Open Borders” program, and the company counts among its client base not only physician practices, but major health plans, health systems, and EMR vendors. DrFirst partners with SureScripts and RxHub for pharmacy connectivity, health plan information, and patient medication history.