Prescribing the Need for Change
Of the three billion prescriptions filled every year in the United
States, as many as 40 percent require time-consuming rework and calls
between pharmacists and physicians. The most common reasons for this
added work are illegible handwriting, the drug prescribed is not
covered by the patient's insurance plan, or the drug prescribed could
cause potential harmful or fatal interactions with other drugs the
patient is taking.
The information EMTs enter on various paper forms is given to hospital
personnel when transferring patient care so that doctors and nurses can
see what treatments and medications were administered at the scene and
during transport. The patient care report becomes a permanent part of
the medical record. The information is also used to keep EMS records
for planning, budgeting, training and reporting to the state.
It's clear that prescription errors can be more than productivity
killers. Thanks to Caremark' iScribe Suite, an innovative handheld,
wireless prescribing and formulary reference system powered by SQL
Anywhere Studio from iAnywhere Solutions, the vast majority of these
errors can now be eliminated.
SQL Anywhere Enables iScribe Users to Access the Right Information Anytime, Anywhere
"Prescription writing is a process that hasn't changed much in the past
75 years," explains Jeff Smith, Assistant Vice President of Physician
Connectivity at Caremark. "iScribe was created to make the process
safer, more efficient and effective for physicians, pharmacists and
patients. With SQL Anywhere Studio, we can get right at the
intersection of the patient and the physician. We can provide more
functionality to physicians and we can do it in a wireless environment
so they have access to the right information at any time, wherever they
happen to be."
"Physicians have historically hesitated to adopt PC-based electronic
prescribing technology because it required them to turn their backs on
their patients or leave the room to print prescriptions. To meet
physicians' requirements for mobility, speed, accuracy and ease-of-use,
iScribe needed to be a very robust system with sufficient memory,
processing speed and battery life to support heavy, all-day use. The
iScribe Suite, running on a wireless, handheld, Palmbased device,
solves this problem.
Sybase iAnywhere Solutions Leading Technology and Professional Services Essential to iScribe Development and On-Time Delivery
"iAnywhere is a complete solution," says Erik Moore, Director of IT for
Caremark's product suite. "We get an outstanding small footprint
database with a robust synchronization capability that allows us to
push important new content such as information on newly released drugs
or new formulary information to physicians' PDAs whenever they connect
to our central server. iAnywhere Solutions' technology and quality
Professional Services were essential to creating this powerful product
and delivering it on schedule."
Ease-of-Use and Security
Physicians can easily download the Caremark iScribe Suite onto their
own Palm-compatible handheld devices from the Web (www.iscribe.com).
The iScribe Suite enables physicians to create a Quick List of their
most frequently prescribed drugs, view current formulary information
from their practices' most prevalent health plans, create a database of
patients and medical histories, and hand legible printed prescriptions
to their patients. iScribe is also designed to comply with the HIPAA
guidelines for patient confidentiality and information security for
More Precise Prescriptions, More Accurate Records, More Time With Patients
Dr. Robert Morrow is an enthusiastic user of the iScribe Suite. Morrow
is a family physician with a large practice in the Bronx section of New
York City. He is also Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of
Family Medicine and Community Health at Albert Einstein College of
"Like many physicians handwriting prescriptions for patients, I
experienced callbacks from pharmacies sometimes as often as a few times
a day either because they couldn't understand the handwriting or the
prescription was for a drug not covered by the patient's insurance
plan," explains Morrow. "Now, using Caremark' iScribe Suite, I can take
out my Palm device while I'm sitting and talking with my patient, bring
up the prescribing section of the application, check the quick list of
medications I use most frequently or flip to another section of the
application to review other drugs. Once I choose the drug I want to
prescribe, I use my Palm's infrared port to 'beam' the information to
our printer, which produces a very clean, legible prescription."
iScribe also prints a self-adhesive label, which Morrow places in the patient's chart to record the details of the visit.
"The big advantage in using iScribe," Morrow continues, "is that when I
hand my patient the prescription, I know it's on formulary for his
health plan, the right dosage and easy to read. That dramatically
decreases prescribing errors and the additional time required to deal
with pharmacy call-backs. That means I can spend more time with my
patients. Also, for people coming back for repeat prescriptions, it
simplifies and expedites the process. I can just go to their names in
the iScribe database and renew all of their prescriptions very quickly.
For people calling for new prescriptions, I can quickly check to make
sure there won't be a negative interaction with other medications they
may be taking. And I can carry all of this information with me so I can
reference it wherever I am when a patient calls."
Morrow finds that his patients respond very positively to his use of
iScribe. They see him using this advanced system and conclude that he
must be keeping up-to-date on medical issues.
"What's particularly impressive about iScribe," adds Morrow, "is that
while it adds a tremendous amount of accuracy to a critical area of any
medical practice, it's very intuitive and easy-touse. People often
think that accuracy and ease of use are mutually exclusive. The
precision you gain using iScribe plus its ease-of-use make it a
particularly appealing tool. Plus it's quite affordable."
All of which explains why several thousand physicians have used the iScribe system with more sure to adopt it in the future.