December 18, 2008

December 18 2008 – Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) announced today that it is collaborating with Hunterdon Medical Center on an innovative initiative to install electronic medication history software in the hospital. The initiative will increase safety and potentially save lives by providing physicians with immediate access to the medication history of a patient.

Horizon BCBSNJ will fund 85% of the implementation costs of installing the software created by DrFirst, Inc. at Hunterdon Medical Center. The initial implementation will take place in the hospital’s Emergency Department. “In the ER, it can be sometimes difficult to obtain patient medication history quickly, which complicates treatment and diagnoses for patients,” said Doctor Richard Popiel, Vice President & Chief Medical Officer, Horizon BCBSNJ. “The valuable part of this e-medication technology is that when a patient checks into the emergency room, the physician will immediately know the patient’s medication history. This will make hospital visits safer, more efficient and reduce the chance of adverse drug reactions.”

To date, Chilton Memorial Hospital, (Morris County) Saint Francis Medical Center, (Middlesex County) and Meridian Health System, (Monmouth/Ocean Counties) have adopted the program.

Glenn Mamary, CIO of Hunterdon Medical Center explains, “At Hunterdon Healthcare System, patients are the number one priority. The more efficiently physicians and staff can communicate patient information, the better treatment they can provide. Information technology, as a part of an overall organizational culture of safety, supports patient safety initiatives by providing tools such as RcopiaAC that assist clinicians with applications that are patient-centered, timely, and efficient. Being able to provide timely home medication information to the providers is invaluable as it may be difficult for many patients to remember the details of their current medication prescriptions. Timely medication information also protects patients from possible drug interactions and alerts the provider of any possible duplication of medication prescriptions. We appreciate the opportunity that Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey has provided to Hunterdon Medical Center by providing financial support for this initiative and bringing a quality vendor such as DrFirst to our organization.”

“We have seen that hospitals utilizing our software, experience an immediate impact on their workflow. Through utilization of the RcopiaAC system, they will be able to 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 BCBSNJ, through their financial support, and Hunterdon Medical Center have taken a major step towards 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 presents to the hospital, RcopiaAC will send an electronic medical history request to multiple sources including SureScripts-RxHub, 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.

About 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 3.6 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 healthy. Horizon BCBSNJ’s Web site is located at Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

About Hunterdon Medical Center
Hunterdon Medical Center treats nearly 9,000 inpatients annually, with 33,000 Emergency Department visits and over 292,000 outpatient visits per year. The 178-bed teaching hospital provides a full range of preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic inpatient and outpatient hospital and community health services.

About DrFirst
DrFirst is a national provider of physician connectivity services through its award-winning, GoldRx Certified Rcopia electronic prescription management system and secure text messaging software. 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.