April 1, 2003

ROCKVILLE, MD, April 1, 2003 — DrFirst, Inc. announced today the introduction of an affordable, deployable and adoptable Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) engine. The Rcopia engine is the first with the versatility to span the Continuum of Care, combining inpatient (in the hospital) CPOE medication ordering with outpatient e-prescribing functionality (in the physician office). The result is the most advanced tool available for reducing medication errors and improving patient safety.

For large practice groups, clinics, and independent physician associations (IPAs), Rcopia provides complete, state-of-the-art e-prescribing and charge capture functionality that finally overcomes the key barrier to adoption: physician acceptance. For hospitals, the Rcopia engine provides an affordable, customizable, and deployable inpatient physician medication ordering tool (with the option of adding ambulatory e-prescribing and charge capture modules) that helps address the core problem of medication errors. Rcopia is available for licensing on an OEM basis by hospitals, health sytems, large practice groups or clinics, IPAs, health plans, and other Value Added Resellers (VARs).

Hospitals — An Affordable and Deployable CPOE for the Inpatient and Ambulatory Setting

A major obstacle to the adoption of CPOE is cost. First Consulting Group recently issued a study estimating that a single 500-bed hospital with 25,000 admissioins per year can expect to spend $7.9 million to implement a CPOE system and an additional $1.35 million per year to run that system. In the February 2003 14th Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey sponsored by Superior Consultant Company, hospital CIOs identified CPOE as the most important healthcare application for their organizations in the next two years. In the same survey, lack of financial support is cited as the biggest barrier to implementing IT. While the need to implement CPOE to address medication errors is critical, these organizations often lack the resources to do so.

The Rcopia engine is offered at a fraction of the cost of other CPOE systems. In addition, by complementing rather than replacing existing systems, it further reduces a hospital’s financial investment. The Rcopia engine is built to integrate with other medical, hospital, pharmacy, and physician practice information systems using the standard HL-7 format or XML. Rcopia takes a practical, incremental approach to solving medication errors, allowing providers to produce a legible medication order that is checked for drug to drug and drug to allergy interactions at the point of care. Designed by physicians for physicians, it provides a medication ordering tool that fits the way physicians operate. It can be customized easily to meet the workflow needs of the organization and does not require replacement of current IT systems.

IPAs and Large Practice Groups — Providing Value Beyond Replacing the Prescription Pad

While industry experts agree that technology can help address medication errors, the key issue has been one of physician adoption. In the past, technology companies tried to convince physicians that the mere act of writing a prescription on a PDA was superior to writing on a prescription pad. Before e-prescribing could be adopted on a widespread basis, however, it needed to show additional value to the physician.

  • Platform and device independence. Rcopia works on multiple platforms, allowing access to data and giving physicians the ability to prescribe any time, any place. Any computer with internet connectivity and a browser can be utilized to access the full capability of Rcopia, and a stand-alone version works on PalmOS devices. To meet physicians’ needs and HIPAA requirements, data is encrypted both on the PDA and during synchronization. PalmOS devices that utilize the wireless web, such as the Handspring Treo, can send prescriptions and update their databases wirelessly.
  • Insurance formulary information. The ability to access health plan formularies through Rcopia is particularly important to gaining staff efficiency in prescription processing.
  • Connectivity to the pharmacy. Prescriptions sent from Rcopia can transmit directly into the pharmacy computer, reducing transcription errors and saving time. In addition, pharmacists can utilize their computers to directly request a refill from the provider, saving a phone call and significant time both at the pharmacy and in the physician’s office.
  • Workflow. Rcopia is roles-based, so staff can enter prescriptions for the provider to review and sign later. The staff has the same allergy, interaction, and formulary data available at the time of prescribing, and overriden warnings appear prominently on the report the physician uses to check pending prescriptions. Refills can be accomplished with a single click, whether requested by the patient or the pharmacy. Rcopia can be used for both inpatient and outpatient medication ordering. The ability to use the same application wherever they prescribe makes it more likely that physicians will use it for all of their medication orders.
  • Improved medical care. Rcopia makes it easier to write an informed prescription. Rcopia retains the patient’s medication an allergy list, so all prescriptions are checked for allergy and medication interactions at the time they are written, reducing medication errors. Patient care is further enhanced by ready access to a patient’s medication list, allergy information, and problem list (diagnoses) even when the physician is not writing a prescription. With a browser or PDA, the provider always has access to critical patient information.

Hospitals, health sytems, large practice groups and clinics, IPAs, health plans, and other technology vendors can license Rcopia on an OEM basis and customize it for their individual needs.

About DrFirst
Utilizing the latest advancements in Internet, security, wireless, and Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) technology, DrFirst provides a suite of integrated, affordable, intuitive, and easily implemented products and services to the healthcare community. These comprehensive solutions solve critical communication, business productivity, and clinical needs of physicians, clinics, hospitals, and health systems. DrFirst delivers its products on both an Application Service Provider (ASP) and Distributive Solutions Provider (DSP) basis to provide the maximum flexibility to fulfill the diverse needs of healthcare providers. The backbone of DrFirst’s products and services is its Secure Messaging Exchange (SMX) network, which permits secure messaging and transfer of information between users. Through this platform, DrFirst offers a practice management solution that includes automated billing, electronic claims submission and scheduling; a state-of-the-art electronic medical records application; and a complementary suite of integrated products that includes fully integrated web and PDA-based electronic prescription writing, charge capture, and secure e-mail.