E-prescription initiative reduced drug interaction errors

October 31, 2007

An examination of data in Michigan reveals that e-prescribing reduces potential drug interaction problems.

An analysis of e-prescribing records from the Southeast Michigan ePrescribing Initiative (SEMI) reveals that the program has significantly reduced the chance of drug interaction errors. According to the study of 3.3 million records, one-third of the prescriptions produced automated drug interaction alerts to physicians and 14% prescriptions were changed or canceled by the prescribing doctor as a result. In addition, the analysis discovered that when a formulary alert was presented, physicians changed the prescription 39% of the time. SEMI is a coalition involving multiple health plans: CVS Caremark, Medco, as well as General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, and the United Auto Workers union. There are nearly 2,500 physician participants writing more than 282,000 electronic prescriptions each month in the program. Since the program