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Canadian pharmacies join new e-prescription network

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MONTREAL — More than a dozen pharmacy banners are participating in the Ontario and Quebec launch of ZoomMed Inc.’s e-Pic Communication Network, which along with the company’s ZRx Prescriber application lets doctors send electronic prescriptions from smart wireless devices.

Montreal-based ZoomMed said Wednesday that the following pharmacies are affiliated with the e-Pic network: Uniprix, Clinique Santé, Unipharm, Familiprix, Zellers, Brunet, Proxim, Centre Santé, Clini-Plus, Rexall, Walmart, Prince Theodore Group and Remedys Rx.

The launch follows a more than 12-month pilot of the e-prescription network with pharmacists in Quebec and Ontario, according to ZoomMed.

"After more than five years of effort and more than $20 million invested, we are very proud of our e-Pic network, which enables doctors using the ZRx Prescriber to send prescription information directly into the computer system of the approximately 60 participating pharmacies, greatly reducing the risk of errors in data entry for pharmacists," stated Benoit Arbour, ZoomMed’s vice president of marketing. "Our network is available in all regions of Quebec and Ontario, and we will make our e-Pic network available to as many pharmacists and doctors as possible in the coming months."

ZRx Prescriber is a Web application that enables physicians to use a wireless device, such as the Apple’s iPod Touch and iPhone, as well as other personal digital assistants (PDAs) or computers, to rapidly write and deliver scripts. The tool can be easily integrated into any electronic medical record (EMR) application, ZoomMed said.

The electronically generated prescriptions include specific bar codes that pharmacists can access online via the e-Pic Communication Network. ZoomMed said the secure, high-speed network allows doctors, pharmacists and other parties to transfer, capture (scan) and electronically receive prescription information, renewals and referral information.

"This system is beneficial to all stakeholders," Arbour explained. "Doctors have access to monographs and automatic detection of interactions in the palm of their hand while being able to write clear and legible prescriptions. Pharmacists, in turn, save time by not having to rewrite the prescription information in their system, thus reducing the risk of errors while giving them more time to provide sound advice to their clients.

"Finally, the patient can now read what has been prescribed, feel safer and benefit from reduced waiting time in pharmacy," Arbour added.

Launched in November 2006, the ZRx Prescriber solution is now used by thousands of physicians across Canada, according to ZoomMed.


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