PDR and the iHealth Alliance Announce New Drug Safety Certification for EHRs

“PDR Certified” Sets Minimum Standards for EHR Drug Safety

MONTVALE, NJ – May 8, 2012 – PDR Network and the not-for-profit iHealth Alliance today announced a new drug safety certification program for electronic health record (EHR) and ePrescribing platforms designed to improve drug and patient safety, and reduce provider liability. The certification will allow healthcare providers to quickly and easily understand if minimum drug safety information and services are available in the EHR system they are selecting for purchase or using with their patients.

The new certification program – “PDR Certified” – will have standards set by the iHealth Alliance, a not-for-profit board made up of executives from U.S. medical societies, professional liability carriers, patient safety groups and liaison members from the federal government. PDR Network will administer the program and has provided the Alliance the use of its well-recognized brand for the new EHR drug safety certification.

“The use of EHRs and electronic prescribing has grown rapidly in recent years, driven by large federal and industry incentives,” explained Nancy Dickey, M.D., the Chair of the iHealth Alliance and former American Medical Association (AMA) President. “It is vitally important that these systems include standards for drug safety functionality, and that these standards are easy for busy physicians to identify and understand – fortunately these goals are shared widely and are in sync with those called for by the FDA.”

The certification criteria are modeled after the FDA’s recently discussed goals for drug safety services in EHRs. Earlier this year Janet Woodcock, M.D., Director of the FDA – Center for Drug Evaluation Research, noted that EHRs have the potential to advance drug safety and efficacy, outlining four key areas of particular importance:

1.    Ensuring that full and up-to-date FDA-approved labeling is available in all EHRs,

2.    Delivering time-sensitive alerts, warnings and REMS programs at the point of ePrescribing,

3.    Integrating adverse drug event reporting into EHRs and other health IT systems, and;

4.    Providing better quality drug information and adherence tools for patients from their doctor’s and via EHR patient portal.

“Access to full FDA labeling combined with timely delivery of drug alerts is critical to drug safety in any environment but particularly in EHRs which play such a large and growing role in care delivery today,” said David Troxel, M.D., Medical Director of The Doctors Company, which insures over  71,000 U.S. physicians. “PDR Certification will provide an easy to recognize way for our physician members, and all U.S. providers, to know if the system they are using or evaluating lives up to these drug safety standards.”

“We appreciate the demands placed on healthcare professionals and want to provide the tools necessary to provide optimal patient care,” said Michael Stearns, MD, CPC, CFPC™, President and Chief Executive Officer of e-MDs, Inc. “We strongly support the PDR Certified program and the tenants of this program established by the FDA. They are consistent with our longstanding and deep commitment to patient safety.”

“We are very excited to be working with the iHealth Alliance and over a dozen of our EHR partners in bringing this important drug safety initiative to life,” stated Edward Fotsch, MD, CEO of PDR Network. “Selecting, understanding and learning to use an EHR are all important, but can be complicated. The PDR Certified shield makes identifying an EHR with recognized essential drug safety services quick and simple.”

“Partnering with PDR Network will allow us to quickly and easily implement new tools to enhance our EHR offering to deliver a better end user experience,” noted Jon Bertman, MD, FAAFP – Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AmazingCharts.com, Inc. “We are proud to become PDR Certified as the designation recognizes our compliance with the FDA’s goal in providing the best tools available to healthcare professionals while protecting the privacy of our clinicians and their patients.”

About the PDR Certified Program 

The iHealth Alliance in collaboration with PDR Network has developed the PDR Certified program to recognize EHRs that meet minimum drug safety standards. To be “PDR Certified” an EHR vendor will need to integrate key features and functionality to their EHR products including:

1.    Full FDA Labeling

2.    Drug Alerts and Warnings (Safety Alerts, Boxed Warnings, Recalls and REMS Communications)

3.    Adverse Drug Event Reporting

4.    FDA-compliant patient education or support services

Once PDR Certified, an EHR vendor may display the “PDR Certified” logo within its EHR, on its web site and in promotional materials indicating to existing and prospective customers that it complies with these important patient and drug safety standards. The FDA has noted that EHRs offer the opportunity to occupy and empower a central role in improving drug safety and efficacy–both in delivering and collecting information at the point of care– and thereby improving patient safety and reducing prescriber liability. For more information on the PDR Certified program, please visit, www.PDRCertified.org.

About PDR Network

PDR Network, LLC is the leading distributor of FDA-approved drug labeling, safety and REMS information, as well as medication adherence and product support programs, through Physicians’ Desk Reference® (“PDR”) suite of print and digital services. PDR Network provides innovative products and services to deliver industry-leading content across channels, including PDR.net®, mobilePDR®, PDR®3D™ and directly through its extensive network of electronic health record partners. For more information, visit www.pdrnetwork.com.

About the iHealth Alliance

The iHealth Alliance is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to protect the interests of patients and providers as healthcare increasingly adopts electronic systems in patient care. iHealth Alliance board members include senior executives from U.S. medical societies, professional liability carriers, patient safety groups and liaison representatives from the FDA. For more information, visit www.ehrevent.org/mission.html.

About The Doctors Company

Founded by doctors for doctors in 1976, The Doctors Company (www.thedoctors.com) is relentlessly committed to advancing, protecting, and rewarding the practice of good medicine. The Doctors Company is the nation’s largest insurer of physician and surgeon medical liability, with 71,000 members, $4 billion in assets, and an A rating from both A.M. Best Company and Fitch Ratings.

About e-MDs

e-MDs is a leading developer of integrated electronic health records and practice management software for physician practices and enterprises. Founded and actively managed by physicians, the company is an industry leader for usable, connected software that enables physician productivity and clinical excellence. e-MDs software has received continual top rankings in physician and industry surveys including those conducted by members of the American Academy of Family Physicians, KLAS®, and AmericanEHR™ Partners. e-MDs has a proven track record of positioning clients for success as demonstrated by Meaningful Use attainment in 2011. e-MDs clients attained the highest attestation proportion among all major vendors as of January 24, 2012. For more information, please visit www.e-mds.com.

About AmazingCharts

AmazingCharts.com provides Electronic Health Records (EHR/EMR) and services to small healthcare practices. Amazing Charts Version 6 is ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 Certified for Meaningful Use. Based on its number one ratings for usability, fair pricing, and overall user satisfaction, the Amazing Charts EHR is used by 5,000 practices nationwide. Founded in 2001 by a practicing family physician, AmazingCharts.com, Inc. is headquartered at 650 Ten Rod Rd., Suite 12, North Kingstown, RI 02852, 1-866-382-5932. For more information, please visit AmazingCharts.com.