More New Hampshire doctors will be able to use electronic devices to prescribe medications thanks to three new programs.
Two programs provide doctors with the software and a mobile pocket PC needed to switch to e-prescribing. Under the third program, 210-bed Concord (N.H.) Hospital will serve as one of three test sites in the country for an electronic medical-record system that enables doctors to write and send prescriptions electronically.
Gov. John Lynch set a goal a year ago for New Hampshire to become the first state where all of its healthcare providers are able to prescribe medication electronically.
Lynch said Wednesday that the state has made strides toward that goal with about 80% of the state's 258 pharmacies and half of its doctors now able to handle electronic prescriptions.
Under the program, doctors access a Web site maintained by RxHub and SureScripts that shows the patient's current and past prescriptions, their health insurance plan's drug benefits and allows transactions between the healthcare provider and pharmacy.
The site also lists alternative medications, potential side effects and alerts the doctor to drug interactions and allergic reactions.
"No doctor knows the possible side effects of all medications," Lynch said. "This will reduce prescribing errors and will save lives in New Hampshire."