ASHP, ePocrates Inc. Offer Combined Handheld, Desktop Drug Reference for Health Professionals
Physicians, nurses, and pharmacists have a new resource to make appropriate and cost-effective drug therapy decisions thanks to a partnership between the American Society Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and ePocrates Inc. Using ePocrates Rx a popular drug information database that includes off-label indications and formularieshealth professionals can link to their hospital or health systems formulary using their personal digital assistants (PDAs) and will also be able to access the comprehensive drug information available in AHFS Drug Information through ePocrates Rx Online using their desktop computer.
The two organizations announced the new agreement today during the ASHP Summer Meeting in San Diego.
Hospitals can now house their formularies on a secure ePocrates server, and health professionals can access the data via a desktop computer or a handheld device that uses the Palm or Pocket PC operating system. Desktop users will have additional access to the well-respected AHFS DI database through ePocrates Rx OnlineTM.
By combining two tools that help to avoid medication errors and including important formulary information, this alliance will help health care practitioners access the most reliable and timely drug information right at the patients bedside, said Richard Fiedotin, M.D., ePocrates vice-president of clinical products, adding that the new partnership will help client hospitals control costs institution-wide while minimizing medication changes for patients as they move from inpatient to outpatient settings.
Carol Wolfe, ASHPs vice-president of publications and drug information services, agreed. Using this system, prescribers can make the best medication choices for their patients, helping the hospital reduce the number of expensive, off-formulary prescriptions, she said. Even more importantly, access to AHFS DI and ePocrates Rx clinical information can help improve patient safety by avoiding dangerous adverse drug events.
ePocrates Inc, the largest handheld clinician network with over 750,000 registered healthcare professionals, provides formulary information from health plans, hospitals, Medicaid agencies and pharmacy benefit management (PBM) companies that represent almost 90 million covered lives. In addition to ePocrates RXTM, ePocrates offers a clinical suite of products: ePocrates RXProTM, which includes an herbal database and an infectious disease application, and ePocrates RX OnlineTM, enabling people to access ePocrates' trusted content via the Internet. ePocrates also offers formulary hosting, messaging, market research and clinical trial recruitment capabilities via its proprietary network. ePocrates is headquartered in San Mateo, CA. For more information on ePocrates, visit www.epocrates.com.
ASHP is the 30,000-member national professional association that represents pharmacists who practice in hospitals, health maintenance organizations, ambulatory care clinics, long-term care facilities, home care, and other components of health care systems. ASHP, which has a long history of medication error prevention efforts, believes that the mission of pharmacists is to help people make the best use of medicines. Assisting pharmacists in fulfilling this mission is ASHP's primary objective. The Society has extensive publishing and educational programs designed to help members improve their professional practice, and it is the national accrediting organization for pharmacy residency and pharmacy technician training programs. For more information, visit ASHPs Web site, www.ashp.org, or its consumer Web site, www.safemedication.com.