L&I News

See more More news releases

March 29, 2004

L&I prescription-review program improves patient safety while saving $400,000 a month

TUMWATER — Prescriptions for injured workers are getting closer scrutiny from the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) with the help of new computer software implemented by the agency. The new level of review is increasing patient safety while saving an average of $400,000 a month in prescription costs.

L&I’s new software screens prescriptions for treatment of work-related injuries and illnesses and alerts pharmacists to potential problems such as dangerous combinations of drugs, refilling too soon and duplicate prescriptions. Pharmacists are alerted within a few seconds of entering the patient information into the computer.

Pharmacists can then do a professional evaluation to determine if medications are appropriate and medically necessary. They have the option of denying or filling the prescription based on clinical judgment or consultation with the prescribing physician. “This program ensures better health care for injured workers by reducing inappropriate use of medication,” said L&I Director Paul Trause. “ At the same time, it has significantly reduced the total drug costs that L&I pays each month,” Trause added. “We’re particularly excited by the success of this program because pharmacy costs have been escalating faster than other costs.”

Implementation of the new prescription-review program follows other new medical-review processes designed to reduce inappropriate medical costs while improving patient safety. Prior to this, L&I implemented new programs to provide professional screening for surgical procedures and in-patient and out-patient hospital care.

###

Radio broadcast version:

The Department of Labor & Industries has implemented new computer software that improves patient safety while saving the state four-hundred-thousand-dollars a month.

The software screens prescriptions for treatment of work-related injuries and, within seconds, alerts pharmacists to potential problems such as dangerous combinations of drugs or duplicate prescriptions. The pharmacist can then do a professional evaluation to determine if the prescription should be filled or denied.

L&I officials say this new program ensures better health care for injured workers by reducing inappropriate use of medication. At the same time, it has significantly reduced the total drug costs that L&I pays each month.

 

For media information: Elaine Fischer, L&I, 360-902-5413 or nele235@LNI.wa.gov.

End of main content, page footer follows.

Access Washington official state portal

© Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries. Use of this site is subject to the laws of the state of Washington.