PDR Network and the not-for-profit iHealth Alliance today announced a new drug safety certification program for electronic health record 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:
- Ensuring that full and up-to-date FDA-approved labeling is available in all EHRs,
- Delivering time-sensitive alerts, warnings and REMS programs at the point of ePrescribing,
- Integrating adverse drug event reporting into EHRs and other health IT systems, and;
- 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.”