HEALTH

CVS Caremark, HBCBSNJ reaches 5.5 million e-prescriptions

BY Drug Store News Team

The news that CVS Caremark and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey have reached 5.5 million e-prescriptions since 2004 is no doubt a major example of how providers are increasingly communicating electronically to advance patient care. What’s even more impressive, is the number of e-prescriptions jumped 20% in just one year from 2007 to 2008.

Once again, CVS Caremark has proven to be a leader and on the forefront of technology, this time with its proprietary iScribe e-prescribing system.

As the article states, this technology not only translates into a cost-savings for patients but also a safety benefit as the system eliminates handwritten prescriptions and provides the prescriber with easy access to potentially harmful drug interaction information. Furthermore, it is no secret that adherence ? or rather lack thereof ? is a major issue within the industry but with iScribe physicians are alerted when a prescription has been unfilled.

Industry members would be wise to keep their eye on BCBSNJ as, according to CVS Caremark chief medical officer and EVP, Dr. Troyen Brennan, it is an “industry bellwether in using technology to improve safety and compliance for their patients.”

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Study suggests that diabetics are unaware of eye health risks

BY Michael Johnsen

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. Fewer than 40% of consumers with diabetes are fully aware about eye health risks, according to recent consumer research conducted by Transitions Optical.

The study revealed that less than 40% of the population surveyed correctly identified vision issues as possible complications of diabetes.

“Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions worldwide,” stated Susan Stenson, global medical director at Transitions Optical. “Aside from its direct effects in decreasing visual acuity and causing blindness, diabetes can also significantly impact quality of vision by reducing contrast sensitivity and accentuating glare,” she said. “While the major recognized direct ocular complication of diabetes is diabetic retinopathy, diabetes also appears to increase susceptibility to a number of common vision-threatening diseases, such as cataract, glaucoma and macular degeneration. Furthermore, diabetics may be at a higher risk for the development of UVR-related ocular diseases.”

Additional findings from Transitions Optical and the World Health Organization include the fact that as many as 45% of diabetics do not receive regular eye exams and as many as 37% of diabetics do not wear protective eyewear.

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Television star opens up about Type 1 diabetes in new book

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Television starlet Mary Tyler Moore is opening up about her battle with diabetes in a new memoir.

“Growing Up Again: Life, Loves, and Oh Yeah, Diabetes” highlights Moore’s 40-year struggle with Type 1 diabetes.

Moore discusses her worsening eyesight, described as “tunnel vision, which makes the world look like a perpetual journey by car through the Swiss Alps.” Moore also mentions that she walks in Manhattan with an aide who warns her about curbs and ramps.

Almost 24 million people in the United States are estimated to have diabetes. The main symptoms include tiredness, thirst, irritability and vision problems.

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