Epocrates: clinical reference more useful than EMRs, eRx for patient safety

Take this bit of news with a grain of salt, but still be comfortable that the salt won't cause a harmful interaction. Epocrates, a familiar name in mobile drug reference software, says that--surprise--mobile drug reference software is the most helpful safety-related technology for physicians, particularly when used in tandem with an electronic medical record.

The company surveyed 2,075 physicians who use Epocrates, asking the doctors to name technologies that help avoid medical errors and improve patient safety. Some 85 percent chose mobile clinical reference software, ahead of e-prescribing (71 percent) and EMRs, at 65 percent.

"Having an EMR system is certainly helpful and key to modernizing our healthcare system, but Epocrates is my go-to source during patient visits," the company quotes Illinois internist Dr. Ronald Hirsch as saying. "It's always within reach and the up-to-date content includes drugs, diseases and diagnostics."

Epocrates says that, based on the survey results, its users collectively avoid more than 100,000 adverse drug events per week.

For more data from Epocrates:
- read the company's press release

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