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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: January 12, 2010
Computers 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 national leaders.

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 pharmacy services.

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 e-prescribing."

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 waste.

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

  This article was taken from:
Pay-for-Performance Reporter

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