Technology update: Electronic medical records gain new momentum

June 16, 2008

Three new initiatives are pushing electronic medical records like never before.

Not to be outdone, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is testing a program in South Carolina in which Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries will be provided with electronic records that will include some CMS claims data, although not necessarily Medicare Part D information. Beneficiaries must register for the electronic records. Information from hospital and provider medical claims will be automatically entered if the beneficiary requests the data. And the EMR news doesn't end there. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire is expanding its e-prescribing initiative by adding EMRs. Practitioners who are part of its e-prescribing program will be able to access medical records and claims data on Anthem members.

NCPDP unveils new product

Minnesota passes Justin's Law

Med-Fast rolls out APM

A Med-Fast pharmacy located inside a Pittsburgh-area grocery store is now offering 24-hour drug pickups with the self-service APM from Parata ( http://www.parata.com/) . The APM works like a bank ATM, but instead of doling out cash, it holds filled prescriptions. Users can use an attached phone for consultations and must scan in credit card and identification to pick up prescriptions.

Rubbermaid offers hybrid

The Toyota Prius isn't the only hybrid these days to garner some attention. Rubbermaid Medical Solutions ( http://www.rubbermaidmedical.com/ ) recently announced an expansion pack for its M38 Mobile Computer Cart line. The company is calling the pack a "hybrid" of traditional computer and medication carts. With drawer configuration options between two and six, the Medication Expansion Pack supports recent legislation in California on patient-to-nurse ratios and offers a variety of configurations.

Calling for adherence

Verizon Wireless and Vocel have teamed up to create Pill Phone ( http://www.pillphone.com/), an application that offers detailed drug information and automatic dosing reminders for users of Verizon Wireless phones. The software is a modified version of the Pill Book, a medication guide. Users will have access to information on more than 1,800 medications, including dosing, side effects, drug interactions, and photos of medications. In addition, the software offers medication reminders, which allow customers to schedule dosing reminders.