San Diego Medical Society Foundation Partners With Company To Recruit Doctors for Electronic Prescribing Network
The San Diego County Medical Society Foundation has partnered with Virginia-based SureScripts to recruit physicians to prescribe drugs using software that would automatically transfer the information to a pharmacy, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Through the agreement, SureScripts, which was founded by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association, hopes to gain entry into the California market for e-prescribing applications. Under the agreement, the company will not pay the foundation or local doctors to adopt the network software but instead will collect a transaction fee from pharmacies that use the network, according to SureScripts spokesperson Tammy Lewis. Over the past several months, the foundation has been working with the county Health and Human Services Agency, the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology at the University of California-San Diego and UC-Irvine to develop strategies for medical institutions to share patient information electronically within five years. About 3% to 4% of the 6,600 physicians in San Diego County currently use electronic medical records and prescribing software, Stephen Carson, chief medical officer for the foundation, said, adding that he hopes to recruit 200 physicians for the project by the end of the year. Jerry Flanagan, health care director for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, voiced privacy concerns about the network, saying that it "allows data thieves and marketers to get a complete picture of the consumer. There is a lot to be afraid of." Lewis said, "Nothing is 100% secure, but this is as secure as can be" (Berestein, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/27).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.