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Am J Med Qual. 2003 Jul-Aug;18(4):147-9.

Using the electronic medical record to enhance the use of combination drugs.

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  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.


The objective of this study was to increase combination drug prescriptions through the use of electronic point-of-care reminders, thereby maintaining quality while decreasing medication costs. The electronic medical record (EMR) was used to identify all patients who were potential candidates for one of the following 3 currently available combination drugs: fluticasone-salmeterol, amlodipine-benazepril, or glyburide-metformin. Point-of-care electronic reminders were attached to the medication record of the EMR for each patient, and providers were asked to consider using the available combination medication. Of the patients who had electronic reminders attached to their charts and were seen at the clinic during the study period, 47 of 175 were switched to a combination medication. A cost-savings analysis showed a total annual savings of dollars 6,159.30. Point-of-care reminders are a simple and effective tool for quality-improvement interventions. Combination drugs may play an important role in controlling medication costs.

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