Web Site Lets Doctors Tap Evacuees' Rx Data


A broad coalition of public and private sector groups has launched a secure Web site where physicians and pharmacists can access medication histories for patients who were evacuated from their homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The Web site—

The effort is aimed at providing timely information to help physicians renew prescriptions, prescribe new medications, and coordinate care for the hundreds of thousands of people who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina—many with chronic health conditions.

“With access to [these records] physicians I think can begin to piece together medical histories and avoid drug interactions and renew prescriptions that are vital to these patients' health,” J. Edward Hill, M.D., president of the American Medical Association said during a telephone briefing to announce the launch of

The information in the network comes from electronic databases from commercial pharmacies, government health insurance programs, private insurers, and pharmacy benefits managers in states affected by the storm.

At press time, the network contained more than 1 million patient records representing more than 7 million prescriptions, according to Kevin Hutchinson, president and CEO of SureScripts, an electronic prescribing service provider.

On the Web site, physicians can obtain allergy information; view prescription history as well as drug interaction and therapeutic duplication reports; and query clinical pharmacology drug information. Physicians who want access to the site can contact AMA's 24-hour Unified Service Center at 800-262-3211 to obtain a user name and password.

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