Contact: Daniel Murphy
Release: February 2009
Sewickley, PA (February 16, 2009)
– Heritage Valley Health System has received a grant for $661,500 from Highmark's Health Information Technology Grant Program, which helps physicians acquire e-prescribing and electronic health record technology for their practices.
Highmark's leading-edge initiative was announced in June 2008 and rewards those physician practices that utilize an e-prescribing solution or e-health record system with an integrated e-prescribing component.
Highmark is one of the first health plans to support a meaningful e-prescribing implementation since the introduction of the recent Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA). This new legislation recognizes the positive impact of e-prescribing on patient safety and the cost of healthcare and provides meaningful incentives to physicians to begin using e-prescribing by January 1, 2009. These incentives are critical to the adoption and on-going usage of e-prescribing but do not address the upfront cost of technology acquisition and implementation. Highmark's Health Information Technology Grant Program addresses this last remaining obstacle and, as a result, physicians, patients and employers in Pennsylvania will benefit due to accelerated use of this life-saving technology.
"Our decision to support the ongoing e-health initiatives at Heritage Valley Health System recognizes them as an e-prescribing leader. We feel that Heritage Valley’s dedication to e-health initiatives improves quality, saves money and in fact saves lives in Western Pennsylvania," said Dr. Kenneth R. Melani, President and CEO for Highmark.
Heritage Valley Health System began its e-prescribing program in 2006 by partnering with Allscripts to implement their TouchWorks application. Heritage Valley’s e-prescribing workflow enables physicians to utilize the Allscripts TouchWorks solution from their computer, a smart phone, or wireless handheld PDA to prescribe new medications as well as quick and accurate medication renewals which are securely transmitted to the patient’s pharmacy of choice. The e-prescribing application is seamlessly integrated with the Mobile Clinical Access Portal (M-CAP) application which Heritage Valley developed to provide physician access to 3 years of the patient’s clinical information from any point of care. The combination of e-prescribing and anytime anywhere access to the full patient electronic health record has enabled physicians to improve both the health of our community and the experience of individual patients seeking safe, efficient care. Today, 90 providers at Heritage Valley use e-prescribing every day to create more than 40,000 prescriptions monthly.
"We are extremely appreciative for this grant from Highmark, which provides much needed relief to our upfront investment for information technology acquisition and implementation,” said Norm Mitry, President and CEO of Heritage Valley Health System. “Our Board of Directors have been and remain 100% committed to being at the forefront of electronic health records and e-prescribing and we look forward to continuing our strong relationship with Highmark as the area of e-prescribing and fully integrated electronic health records becomes more and more critical and mandatory to the evolution of the healthcare industry.”