Two Health IT Groups Join Forces

It seems like a natural fit. Cal eConnect was formed to promote and coordinate electronic health record use in California, and the California E-Prescribing Consortium (CaleRx) is trying to get providers to electronically connect with pharmacists.

Those two processes are inextricably linked, keeping EHRs and prescribing electronically. It’s all in the name of reshaping the health care delivery system, and providing better care at a lower cost.

Yesterday was the first time the two groups officially established an ongoing collaboration, in a joint workgroup meeting. How exactly that collaboration will develop is still being discussed, but everyone seemed to agree on one thing: It’s a good idea to join forces.

 “E-prescribing is part of the bigger picture of what Cal eConnect is doing,” Libby Sagara of CaleRx said. “This whole meeting is to discuss how the two groups will work together, moving forward.”

“We’re thrilled to collaborate on the e-prescribing initiative. It’s one of our major pillars,” Carladenise Edwards of Cal eConnect said. “There are a couple of concerns, primarily around financing, since CaleRx funding is limited and short at best. But we think we can help move the e-prescribing dial” she said. “The opportunities here for us are great.”

Edwards reported that EHR adoption in California is increasing about 3.5% to 5% a year. She said about 30% of the state’s office-based physicians use EHRs. However, only about 15% of those providers are using e-prescribing in their system, Edwards said.

“Cal eConnect is very well poised to enable improvement of the technical infrastructure, to help with education and outreach, and to help drive policy decisions,” Edwards said.

“Cal eConnect is interested and willing to provide oversight and project management,” she said, “but at some point those need to be one effort, if we could agree on [specifics of] that [partnership]. If we’re not able to do that, then we’ll partner on the things that are mutually beneficial.” 

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