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TECH: JSK’s 2006 Health IT Forecast

Skip over to iHealthbeat to see the ever wonderful Jane Sarasohn Kahn’s 2006 Health IT Forecast

Jane is pretty gung-ho about ePrescribing. She says:

I predict that e-Prescribing will come of age in 2006. With Medicare kicking the tires on e-prescribing standards, we’ll see adoption of eRx on a selective basis. An innovative handful of health plans will foster adoption by providing incentives to prescribers in regional marketplaces. By the end of 2006, e-prescribing will reach a tipping point, and it will take off in 2007 because of Medicare’s push for adoption.

It’s not secret that we share this view — after all we spent last year writing a study about it that will be out shortly! this is one of the times when Morrison’s corollary to Herb Stein’s law comes into play. Stein said that “if something is unsustainable in the long run, it will end”. Morrison riffed on that to say, “If it’s going to be a big deal eventually, it’s got to start somewhere”.  We think that the next 18 months is the “starting somewhere” period for eRx. I hope that we’re not being too optimistic!

Jane is however a little too polite about RHIOs. Ann Donovan from the California RHIO told me last week that the CEOs of the big players in Claifornia were sending people to their meetings but the people showing up didn’t know why they were there. Reading between Jane’s lines this looks like CHINS all over again. The first report we wrote together in 1994 was also about CHINs, and we said there that they might end up as a sideshow, and again we were being too optimistic!

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Will WeiderStuart Gitlow MD Recent comment authors
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Will Weider
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I have to disagree with Dr. Gitlow. we have implemented the Wellinx ePrescribing system in our 200+ physician practice and it is almost universally loved. There has been no impact on doctor or staff productivity. As far as connecting to the small clinics, today we have no pharmacies (even the big ones) that want to communicate electronically. Everything is done via automated faxing. But it has eliminated the phone calls. There are many other benefits. Checking for contraindications has been cited by more than one doctor as a “life saver.” Furthermore, it bulds an active medication list as part of… Read more »

Stuart Gitlow MD
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Stuart Gitlow MD

Why would I, a physician at a Community Health Center, want to prescribe electronically? We have many non-chain pharmacies in our neighborhood, and we support their use. These pharmacies do not have agreements with pharmcos to provide bulk prescribing data. They provide highly personal service, and I count on the relationship I have with the pharmacists there. It is far easier and faster for me to call in renewals once a day than it is to handle this on a computer. As for written prescriptions, we had a computer and printer generate them for a while, but eventually concluded that… Read more »