Pharmacies launch emergency prescription database

Published 27 April 2007

Emergency Rx History system will serve as a backbone of existing Pharmacy Health Information Exchange

Now this is a good idea. A number of the nation’s leading pharmacies — including Longs, Rite Aid, and CVS — have launched a nationwide database that will permit physicians and health care companies access to prescription records of those dislocated by a disaster. Known as Emergency Rx History, the service is intended to serve as a backbone to the existing Pharmacy Health Information Exchange, which doctors currently use to share information with pharmacies. A similar but ad-hoc emergency system was set up after Hurricane Katrina and received 5,000 queries within sixty days of its launch, and the newly-announed initiative is intended to plug some of the observed gaps. “It had fairly limited functionality,” said Ron Cronin of SureScripts, the company that manages all the programs mentioned above. “It only gave a ninety-day snapshot