AIRbots, Inc. has launched Freescrip.com, a computerized prescription service that will enable doctors to write prescriptions electronically, track their status and make changes. The company believes that their Internet-based service could save physicians over an hour a day.
According to AIRbots, physicians spend an average of 75 minutes per day on changing prescriptions over the telephone. If these doctors shift to Freescrip.com, they will not only get back that time, but will also be able to offer their patients a more flexible and convenient system. With Freescrip.com, physicians write their prescriptions on an online form and store it on the Internet. When patients want to fill the prescription, they can instruct their local pharmacy or mail-order drug service to access the prescription from Freescrip.com.
The service is free and available to doctors across the country. AIRbots says that 650,000 practicing physicians write about 3 billion prescriptions per year. If Freescrip shortens their prescription writing time by one minute, that translates to a savings of more than nine days per year.
In case saving time is not enough incentive, AIRbots formed a strategic partnership with physiciansite.com to give Freescrip.com broad reach as well. Through physiciansite.com, an Internet portal for doctors, the service will be available to the HealthStar healthcare network, which includes 121,000 physicians’ offices and 1,900 hospitals.
Physiciansite.com plans to launch its site in late September, offering physicians and office administrators Web-based claims processing and eligibility verification services. It will also offer purchasing information, online patient scheduling and medical research.
By automating the prescription process, AIRbots says, many data tracking functions will become less time-consuming and more reliable. Computerized prescriptions can aid medical professionals in screening for drug interactions, checking formularies and patient histories, verifying dosages and analyzing drug utilization patterns. In addition to an “electronic scrip pad,” Freescrip.com offers access to its “Value Formulary” drawn from standard medical references to help doctors ensure they are prescribing the correct medications. Individual patients’ prescription histories can be uploaded by a physician’s office staff and maintained by Freescrip to give patients the freedom to visit a different doctor and get reliable care.
For a $60 (US$) monthly fee, doctors can upgrade from Freescrip to Officescrip and gain access to additional services from AIRbots. Additional Officescrip capabilities include online retail and mail order cost comparisons, drug utilization reviews and direct-to-pharmacy fax and e-mail links. AIRbots also offers a program called PILLbot to health maintenance organizations and insurance companies to manage prescription eligibility, authorization, pricing, delivery, payments and utilization reviews. PILLbot charges are expected to average approximately $2.00 per completed prescription transaction, the company says.
AIRbots, based in Houston, Texas, says that its “Autonomous Intelligent Robots” system could result in a 25 to 30 percent reduction in the average overhead cost of as much as $40 per prescription. Such savings would benefit patients, health insurance firms and pharmacies, all of which now share the cost of processing prescriptions.