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7/19/2010
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GE Healthcare ePrescribing Solution Approved In Ohio

The Centricity electronic medical record Advanced ePrescribing solution that uses biometrics to authenticate physicians ordering patient medications has been approved by the Ohio Pharmacy Board.

GE Healthcare's ePrescribing solution, which uses fingerprint-scanning technology to verify a doctor's identity before they order medications, has been approved by the Ohio Pharmacy Board for use by the state's physicians.

Announced on Monday, GE executives said the technology met Ohio's stringent ePrescribing requirements by successfully integrating biometrics technology into its Centricity Electronic Medical Record solution. By adding an external scanner, the technology calls for physicians to identify themselves by providing their fingerprint before ordering a patient's prescription.

"When we first set the module up, each clinician with access to it places a finger on an external keypad. The fingerprint is scanned and stored. Each time that clinician orders a medication for a patient, he or she must scan that same finger again. If the prints match, the order goes through," explains Jim Corrigan, vice president and general manager of GE Healthcare IT.

As the healthcare industry becomes increasingly concerned about medical fraud, GE executives predict that many states will replicate Ohio's pharmacy law. The Centricity EMR's Advanced ePrescribing solution provides an extra layer of authentication and documentation required by the Ohio law and which helps prevent forgery.

"We're ahead of the curve on this because we anticipate that Ohio's law, which is currently the strictest in the nation, will soon be mirrored by a federal law requiring a second tier of authentication prior to controlled substance orders. This solution puts us in a great position to meet the anticipated demand," Corrigan said.

The solution has been implemented at OhioHealth, one of the largest health systems in the state, and is currently used by more than 200 prescribing physicians at 15 clinic sites across Ohio.

Mrunal Shah, vice president, Physician Technology Services at OhioHealth Information Services, said the new solution meets Ohio's rigorous standards for electronic prescribing and will improve OhioHealth's physician's workflow.

"By fully integrating the fingerprint scanner with the EMR, GE Healthcare's method of addressing the two-factor authentication requirements verifies the physician's identity instantaneously, and creates a paperless audit trail which helps maintain a more complete record of patient care," Shah said in a statement.

"OhioHealth is the first organization in the country to meet the rigorous Ohio Board of Pharmacy requirements with Centricity EMR's Advanced ePrescribing biometric solution, and we're pleased to have worked closely with GE Healthcare to make this achievement possible," he added.

According to Corrigan GE's ePrescribing solution can also assist doctors and pharmacies meet the requirements of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency's (DEA's) final interim rule which went into effect on June 1.

The rule permits prescribers to electronically write and pharmacies to electronically accept prescriptions for schedule II-V controlled substances so long as they verify the user is who the user claims to be, and validate that the authenticated user has the authority to perform the requested operation.

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