/PRNewswire/ -- A coalition led by EHR vendors, PDR Network, professional liability carriers, and providers,in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration, today announced a new multi-faceted initiative to improve drug safety and medication adherence by integrating drug services for prescribers and their patients into electronic health record (EHR) platforms and other health information technology. The initiative was announced today at a press event at the Health Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) annual conference with speakers from the FDA; PDR Network; Allscripts Health Solutions, the nation's largest ambulatory EHR vendor; and The Doctors Company, the nation's largest professional liability carrier.

Janet Woodcock, M.D., Director of the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation Research, noted in taped comments that EHRs have the potential to advance drug safety and efficacy, outlining four key areas of particular importance:

  • Ensuring that full and up-to-date FDA-approved labeling is available in all EHRs
  • Delivering time-sensitive alerts, warnings and REMS programs at the point of ePrescribing
  • Integrating adverse drug event reporting into EHRs and other health IT systems
  • Providing better quality drug information, adherence tools and financial support services for patients via their doctor's and via EHR patient portal

Speakers noted that with adoption skyrocketing, the EHR is increasingly at the center of clinical workflow, and the goals of improving drug safety and medication adherence could be powerfully advanced by integrating new drug services as outlined by Dr. Woodcock. During the press conference, PDR and their partners announced the launch of PDR BRIEF, a new service that delivers full FDA-approved labeling and Drug Alerts within EHRs and ePrescribing systems. David Troxel, M.D., Medical Director of The Doctors Company, which insures over 70,000 U.S. physicians, stated, "Access to full FDA labeling combined with timely access to drug alerts is critical to drug safety in any environment. We are working closely with PDR Network and their partners to help ensure that our insured physicians and their patients have access to these critical services within their EHRs."

Earlier in the day, the vision of adverse drug event reporting integrated into EHRs and Health IT was advanced with the announcement of a national rollout of an adverse drug event reporting system operated by PDR, RxEvent, into CVS Caremark's 7,000+ pharmacies. EHR vendors are also embracing the goal of advancing drug safety through their systems. "Allscripts is committed to helping our providers achieve the goals of improved drug safety and medication adherence," said Doug Gentile, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Allscripts Health Solutions. "We look forward to working closely with PDR to ensure that all of our physicians and other users, and their patients benefit from these important new services."

Other EHR vendors participating in the initiative and who have earned the distinction of being "PDR Certified" include Greenway Medical Technologies, Inc., athenahealth, Inc., e-MDs, Inc., OfficeAlly, Inc., Connexin Software, Inc., First Medical Solutions Corporation, Universal E.H.R. Solutions and OmniMDT (A Division of ISM Inc.). Linda Scarazzini, M.D., Director, Division of Pharmacovigilance at FDA, added, "We are pleased to see this cross-industry effort to improve drug safety and medication adherence. Targeted drug information and decision support offered inside the provider's workflow are an increasingly powerful way to communicate important drug information."