Collaborative helps pharmacists navigate EHR arena

October 1, 2011

The importance of ensuring that pharmacist-provided clinical services are represented in the electronic health record has come to the forefront with the Pharmacy e-Health Information Technology Collaborative.

The importance of ensuring that pharmacist-provided clinical services are represented in the electronic health record (EHR) has come to the forefront with the Pharmacy e-Health Information Technology Collaborative (Collaborative), an organization founded by 9 national pharmacy organizations.

Launched in September 2010, the Collaborative's goal is to help pharmacists receive bi-directional information and functionality with electronic prescribing and other aspects of the certified EHR in order to participate in multidisciplinary patient care. In addition, the Collaborative integrates the pharmacist's role of providing patient-care services into the US Health Information Technology (HIT) infrastructure.

The Collaborative was developed to assure the meaningful use of standardized EHRs, supporting safe, efficient, and effective medication use, continuity of care, and provision of access to patient-care services by pharmacists with other members of the interdisciplinary patient-care team.

"Pharmacists providing patient-care services need a standard EHR to document and electronically exchange health information with other healthcare providers," said the Collaborative's Director Rachelle "Shelly" Spiro, RPh.

According to Dr Spiro, for pharmacists to be meaningful users of the EHR, pharmacists worked with standard development organizations to develop the Pharmacist/Pharmacy Provider EHR (PP-EHR) functional profile. The PP-EHR or Pharmacist EHR was developed by a joint Health Level Seven (HL7) and National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) work group and it has been approved through the balloting process of both organizations.

The Collaborative also has associate members who represent e-prescribing networks, a standards development organization, and a transaction processing network.

The Collaborative represents more than 250,000 pharmacists in different aspects of pharmacy practice, including pharmacy education, clinical pharmacy, retail pharmacy, consulting, and others, as well as the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, and the National Community Pharmacists Association. The Collaborative influences HIT policy through unified, regular communication exchanges to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Office of the National Coordinator (ONC), and other HIT organizations about pharmacists' contributions and pharmacist-provided patient-care services to the ONC and CMS defined meaningful use of the EHR.

For more information, visit http://www.pharmacye-hit.org/.