RxHub and Siemens join to offer drug reconciliation

December 12, 2005

In a timely marriage of technology and data, RxHub and Siemens Medical Solutions recently signed an agreement to provide outpatient medication records electronically to inpatient clinicians. The move takes place in anticipation of the medication reconciliation patient safety goal set this year by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations for implementation in the nation's hospitals in January 2006.

In a timely marriage of technology and data, RxHub and Siemens Medical Solutions recently signed an agreement to provide outpatient medication records electronically to inpatient clinicians. The move takes place in anticipation of the medication reconciliation patient safety goal set this year by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations for implementation in the nation's hospitals in January 2006.

"Their goal is a seamless transfer of information between the inpatient and outpatient setting, and this is what that helps achieve," said Robert Christiansen, R.Ph., MBA, market manager for Siemens on the project. "It should prove to be a significant patient safety asset to acute care clinicians."

"Our goal is to connect to get MEDS data to as many hospitals nationally as we can," said Ken Majkowski, Pharm.D., VP for business development for RxHub and MEDS project manager. "This agreement gives us access to hundreds of Siemens' clients in the most cost-effective way possible."

Siemens is functioning as a reseller of the MEDS product for use in acute care settings, although the company may expand the service. It will charge a monthly fee for providing MEDS data to its clients, based on the size of the purchasing organization and the number of projected queries. The project is being beta-tested at four hospitals. The company plans to make the data available in 2006 to more than 800 hospitals that are currently using its Invision Clinicals electronic medical records product, and possibly to consumers of other Siemens information technology products.

Officials of both companies said they see the agreement as a move to improve the quality of care. Christiansen pointed to the fact that medication errors and adverse drug events have become a very serious healthcare problem. "The access to outpatient medication history information that this agreement will provide will improve the reliability of reconciling inpatient and outpatient medications," he said. "That's what JCAHO had in mind and that's what we want to do."

RxHub's Majkowski agreed with that assessment. "We're a small company, without the bandwidth to reach as many hospitals as Siemens can. This accelerates our ability to share our data with inpatient clinicians, and that's where it can do a great deal of good," he said.

More information about Siemens products is available at http://www.usa.siemens.com/medical-pressroom. Information about the RxHub MEDS product is available at http://www.rxhub.net/.