Trumping Doctors’ Handwriting In Michigan Blues Program
Michigan doctors by the thousands are trading in
their sloppy handwriting for crisp, easy to read e-prescriptions.
The e-prescribe initiative is backed by Blue Cross
Blue Shield of Michigan (Blues) and is making the state one of the
Nearly 4,800 physicians, representing 30 percent
of all doctors’ offices in Michigan, are enrolled in the
e-prescribing program, said James Lang, Blues vice president of
One of those physicians is west Michigan internist
Dr. Michael Schaub who has wiped out the danger of a doctor’s
scrawl. "Our handwriting is not always the greatest," he said. "But
every prescription we write is 100 percent legible because of
The Safe-Rx Award from Surescripts,
America’s largest electronic network, ranks the Blues program
third nationally, behind Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
In the Blues e-prescribing program, physicians
electronically send prescription information directly to pharmacists
through a secure Web portal. Partnering doctors get access to the Blues
full-featured, stand-alone e-prescribing management system, free
hardware, help with installation and Web access for two years.
To help prevent potentially dangerous drug
interactions, primary care physicians can use an e-prescribing system
to see what medications have been prescribed for a patient by
specialists, as well as viewing their own medication records for a
patient. Upon entering prescribing orders, doctors can get alerts about
potential harmful interactions, drug allergies and dosing issues.
E-prescribing may also reduce time spent by pharmacy staff to make
callbacks to doctors’ offices, not to mention avoiding paper
The Blues program has handled more than one
million prescriptions. Current volume is about 130,000 prescriptions
per month. Nearly 50,000 member alerts have been triggered, about 30
percent of which have resulted in the prescribing doctor taking action
to resolve potential problems.
For more information on Blue Cross Blue Shield of
Michigan, visit www.bcbsm.com.