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e-Scripts Are a Click Away at Giant Food and Pharmacy

SILVER SPRING, Md. - Doctors abandon their prescription pads for Internet scripts at Giant Food and Pharmacy. Using a desktop computer, handheld PC or even a cell phone, doctors will be able to write paperless prescriptions to Giant pharmacists in less than 30 seconds. This two-way communication, called OnCallData, also allows a pharmacist to request a refill or verify a prescription from the doctor. Giant is the first chain pharmacy to offer OnCallData in all 154 of its pharmacies.

An alliance with NDCHealth, InstantDx and Giant Inc. will allow 30,000 physicians in the mid-Atlantic region using NDC Health's Medisoft and Lytec practice-management software to be the first to send e-scripts to Giant pharmacies through the connectivity of the intelligent NDCHealth Information Network.

OnCallData, created by InstantDx, is a safe, web-based technology that allows doctors to access patient information, choose a pharmacy, and transmit a prescription in just one click of a button or mouse. For the first time doctors, pharmacists and payers are electronically linked to provide speedy prescription and refill services to patients.

"Over 30 percent of a pharmacist's workday is spent on the phone receiving and clarifying prescriptions. By 2005, retail pharmacists are expected to fill 4 billion prescriptions," said Russell B. Fair, R.Ph., vice president of pharmacy operations for Giant Food Inc. "OnCallData's hassle-free service will allow our pharmacists to spend more time counseling patients instead of spending time on the phone answering questions and processing prescriptions."

"We are excited that Giant is one of the first retail pharmacies to take full advantage of the value of electronic prescriptions and renewals," said Craig Fuller, president and CEO of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. "E-scripts are just what the doctor ordered. They lift some of the administrative burdens from pharmacists' and physicians' shoulders, leaving more time for counseling patients. They also will reduce errors due to difficult to read scripts."

"This alliance represents a great step forward for healthcare efficiency and quality," said Walter M. Hoff, president and CEO of NDCHealth. "Today, more than 30 percent of prescriptions written by physicians are never filled, often because patients don't have time to pick them up. The efficiencies of e-prescribing will help ensure that the right medications are taken and that patients can quickly begin taking their prescriptions."
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