St. Louis College of Pharmacy Professor Available
to Discuss Electronic Health Records
Subject: The Department of Health and Human Services recently announced rules to improve Americans’ health, increase safety and reduce health care costs through expanded use of electronic health records (EHR).
Under the rules, health care professionals and hospitals can qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments by adopting EHR technology. Practitioners will become eligible to receive federal money to help defray the costs of EHR systems. Starting in 2015, heath care providers will be subject to financial penalties under Medicare if they are not using EHR.
The goal of EHR is to streamline the delivery of medical care. Patients will benefit from a system that can warn doctors before mistakes are made — such as prescribing a drug that might cause a severe reaction. There’s also the added convenience of being able to access medical records online.
Expert: Dr. Ken Schafermeyer, health care economist and professor of pharmacy administration; 314-644-0565 (mobile).
Quote: “Current health care technology was designed for claims processing, not information management,” Schafermeyer said. “There are many problems that need to be fixed; systems do not capture diagnoses and outcomes, mostly input for billing purposes. They also aren’t compatible with each other so it’s difficult for one provider to get complete information on lab data, prescriptions and diagnostic tests. Therefore, many tests and treatments are duplicated and providers can’t always determine effectiveness or outcomes of treatment. Most health care providers, other than pharmacists, have been slow to adopt technology because of these limitations and the cost of software and training.”
About St. Louis College of Pharmacy: Founded in 1864, St. Louis College of Pharmacy is one of the oldest and largest colleges of pharmacy in the nation. The College admits students directly from high school and integrates the liberal arts and sciences with a six-year professional curriculum leading to the doctor of pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. More than 1,200 students attend, and more than 72 percent of practicing pharmacists in the St. Louis region are alumni.
- 30 -