Office of the National Coordinator recognizes Michigan e-prescribing effort

LANSING, Mich. — The federal government has recognized the state of Michigan as a national leader in electronic prescribing, a group of health organizations in the state said.

The Michigan Health Information Network said that the Office of the National Coordinator for health information technology had commended it, recognizing that 94% of pharmacies in the state are equipped for e-prescribing.

"What makes this accomplishment significant is when you look at its impact on patient safety," Michigan Department of Community Health director James Haveman said. "Broad adoption of electronic prescribing is a critical element of improving patient safety. This is one of many ways Michigan is demonstrating national leadership using health information technology and the health information exchange."

According to a September 2012 study that included a sampling of 27 million e-prescriptions, a severe or moderate drug-to-drug alert was sent to physicians for more than 7.3 million prescriptions, resulting in 28% of them being changed or canceled by the prescribing doctor, while physicians received nearly 1.2 million medication allergy alerts, resulting in 27% of them being changed or canceled.

The state's transition toward e-prescribing started in 2005, when several companies formed the Southeast Michigan ePrescribing Initiative. That group included CVS Caremark, Express Scripts, Catamaran, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Health Alliance Plan, UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group.