Electronic Prescribing Continues Rapid Expansion as DrFirst Becomes a SureScripts Certified Solutions Provider

October 28, 2003

ALEXANDRIA, Va. and ROCKVILLE, Md. — SureScripts, the company responsible for establishing the largest healthcare infrastructure to support electronic communications between physicians and pharmacists, and DrFirst, a provider of electronic healthcare solutions for physicians and hospitals, today announced that DrFirst’s electronic prescribing software, Rcopia, has been recognized as a SureScripts Certified Solution”. Rcopia, will enable physicians to electronically access and conduct two-way communications with the more than 50 percent of chain and independent pharmacies across the country that will be connected to SureScripts MessengerTM Services by year end.

“We are pleased that DrFirst has become a SureScripts Certified Solutions Provider”, and is a committed partner focused on improving the overall prescribing process,” said Kevin Hutchinson, President and CEO of SureScripts. “The addition of Rcopia as a SureScripts Certified Solution provides an additional option for physicians interested in improving the efficiency and safety of the prescribing process through true electronic communications with pharmacists.”

Prior to using SureScripts Messenger Services for the electronic exchange of prescription data between physicians and pharmacies, all physician and pharmacy technology vendors must go through an implementation and certification process to become a SureScripts Certified Solution Provider. This ensures that technology partners’ systems conform to SCRIPT Version 4.2 message formats as approved by the National Council of Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) and that their technology can successfully exchange prescription data between physicians and pharmacies via the SureScripts network. In addition to technical requirements, the certification process also outlines a set of business requirements to which all partners interested in connecting to SureScripts Messenger Services must adhere in order to ensure that patient choice of pharmacy and physician choice of medication are upheld.

DrFirst’s SureScripts Certified Solution, Rcopia, will not only allow physicians using Rcopia to electronically transmit new prescriptions, but will also enable them to expedite renewals electronically, improving the current inefficient process of phoning and faxing. Prescriptions written using Rcopia are checked for drug and allergy interactions at the time they are written. Rcopia operates on multiple platforms to meet the diverse needs of physicians, such as PDAs, cell phones, desktop, laptop and tablet personal computers and provides both electronic prescribing and charge capture capabilities. All of these factors then allow for Rcopia to enhance patient safety and reduce costs with the goal of benefiting patients, physicians and pharmacies.

“Electronic connectivity supports significant improvements in the prescribing process while instilling confidence in secure, accurate transmission of prescription information from the physician office to the pharmacy,” said John F. Bartos, Jr., president of DrFirst. “We are pleased Rcopia is a SureScripts Certified Solution and will provide physicians with electronic access to their local pharmacies, enabling them to transmit new prescriptions directly to the pharmacist’s computer and to authorize renewal requests online.”

Automating the prescription process can enhance prescribing overall by improving patient safety, accuracy, efficiency, convenience and the quality of information at the point of care, rather than causing healthcare professionals to spend less time on patient care and more on time-consuming phone calls and faxes related to the prescription process. Under the current prescribing system, as many as 450 million of the approximately 3.4 billion prescriptions dispensed annually require physician authorization for additional renewals before they are dispensed, translating to a burdensome 900 million phone calls and faxes between physicians and pharmacies, costing more than $2 billion annually.

Rcopia users will access SureScripts Messenger Services via the NDCHealth Intelligent Network. As a SureScripts Certified Reseller, NDCHealth provides connectivity to SureScripts Messenger Services for a number of technology vendors such as DrFirst.

Driving Physician Adoption
In a related announcement, the Massachusetts Medical Society, a leading physician medical organization based in Waltham, Massachusetts, announced today a partnership with DrFirst to introduce electronic prescribing connectivity and offer Rcopia at a discount to members. The Society is the first state-based physician organization nationwide to actively endorse an electronic prescribing application, further driving physician adoption of electronic prescribing.

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