September 14, 2006


ROCKVILLE, MD (September 14, 2006) United Physicians, P.C., the largest independent

United Physicians is rolling out the e-prescribing technology to its membership following a successful three-month pilot test of Rcopia at six physician offices involving 10 doctors. The project is modeled on the successful Southeast Michigan e-Prescribing Initiative (SEMI) launched in 2005. SEMI members Health Alliance Plan and Henry Ford Medical Group are assisting the United Physicians/DrFirst effort.

“HAP and Henry Ford have led the way in e-prescribing in this region, and the outcomes toward enhanced patient safety and reduced costs are compelling,” said Steven Grant, M.D., F.A.C.P., president and chief executive officer of United Physicians. “We are grateful for their support and look forward to the benefits that e-prescribing will bring to our members and their patients.”

With e-prescribing, United Physicians members will use a wireless tablet or desktop computer to write and electronically transmit prescriptions instantly to pharmacies. Handwritten prescriptions — which can be misread or illegible — are eliminated with e-prescribing.

A report issued in July 2006 by the Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, estimated that more than 1.5 million Americans are injured every year by drug errors. Doctors using e-prescribing receive alerts to patient drug allergies, drug interactions and therapeutic duplication. They can access insurance plan eligibility and formulary compliance, authorize renewals and refills, and easily track a patient’s medication history. A doctor can perform these e-prescribing functions while seeing a patient or away from the office.

”DrFirst is proud to be involved in this collaborative program,” said G. Cameron Deemer, SVP and General Manager of DrFirst “By providing Rcopia eprescribing to its members, United Physicians is taking its place among the thought leaders in Michigan who have made a strong commitment to patient safety and to introducing the benefits of eprescribing to physicians and pharmacies in the state.”

Results of the three month United Physicians e-prescribing pilot, which began May 24th and concluded August 29th involving 10 doctors, include:

  • 4,794 prescriptions were written electronically.
  • 1,655 prescriptions were changed or cancelled due to drug-to-drug interaction alerts. Electronic messages alerted doctors to 190 potential allergic reactions
  • 119 prescriptions were changed or cancelled due to formulary alerts, which increased the use of generic drugs.

“Using e-prescribing has improved our office workflow by significantly reducing phone calls to and from pharmacies related to prescriptions,” said United Physicians member and pilot participant Gary Langnas, D.O., of Oakland Medical Group. “The features related to patient safety, such as drug interactions and formulary information, are very helpful.”

Rcopia operates on multiple platforms, such as PDAs, desktop, laptop and tablet personal computers, allowing physicians to create legible prescriptions quickly and accurately from pick lists and remembering patients’ medication dosage/interval and pharmacy of choice. In addition, staff efficiency can be increased due to fewer administrative phone calls and faxes, since prescription and refill requests are accepted directly from and sent to pharmacy computer systems. All of these factors allow Rcopia to enhance patient safety and reduce costs with the goal of benefiting patients, physicians, pharmacies and health plans.

About United Physicians, P.C.
United Physicians is a physician organization of 1,700 independent doctors practicing in Southeast Michigan. United Physicians facilitates physician participation in health care plans and provides services that promote quality and efficiency in the practice and business of health care. Visit