In February, Health Alliance Plan (HAP) and the Henry Ford Medical Group piloted a major electronic prescribing initiative at the request of General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler, aimed at reducing prescription costs.
According to Henry Ford, the 60- physician pilot was so successful, e-prescribing quickly became a company wide initiative, and it intends all of its medical specialists to be using e-prescribing by the end of the year.
The technology benefits patients who avoid potential complications due to drug interactions and it saves money by using generics instead of brand name medications. As a result, the company reports that more than 80,000 prescriptions were changed or cancelled due to drug-to-drug interaction alerts, while e-prescribing messages alerted doctors to 6,500 potential allergic reactions.
In total e-prescribing is estimated to have helped Henry Ford Medical Group improve its overall generic use rate by 7.3%, saving $3.1 million in pharmacy costs over a one-year period.