UPDATE: Miss. Medicaid launches electronic health records

JACKSON — Mississippi’s Medicaid program launched a new electronic health records system Thursday, and officials say it could help improve patient care.

As part of the new system, physicians can send electronic messages rather than handwritten notes to pharmacies to order prescriptions for patients on Medicaid, a government health program for the needy.

Medicaid spokesman Francis Rullan says the new system should make it easier to determine whether a patient has been prescribed the same medicine by different doctors, or whether one patient has been prescribed different drugs that could have dangerous interactions.

Shared Health, a company based in Chattanooga, Tenn., has a four-year, $9.5 million contract to run the electronic health records system for Mississippi Medicaid. The federal government pays most of the costs.

The Associcated Press