ScriptRx Fills $2M Prescription

It had 12 minutes to convince a national audience of venture capitalists to invest in its company, a daunting task for any enterprise looking to deliver a message that resonates with investment pros who have heard these pitches all too often.

Appearing at the 11th annual Florida Venture Capital Conference in January, ScriptRx Inc., a national provider of interactive health care systems, was able to convince at least one firm in the audience, CrossBow Ventures, to pony up $2.1 million in venture capital funding.

The Series A round should help accelerate the West Palm Beach, Fla.-based company’s ability to meet the demand that has developed for

ScriptRx Systems in emergency rooms nationwide. Additionally, the capital will be used to expand the services to include computerized physician order entry and charting.

“Our investment decision was reinforced by the company’s industry knowledge and the positive responses received from emergency room doctors and pharmaceutical companies,” says Stephen Warner, CEO of CrossBow Ventures.

ScriptRx Systems has more than 250 touch-screen computer systems installed in more than 100 hospitals in the U.S. The machines, which are gaining wide acceptance among physicians, incorporate a fingerprint scanner and laser printer that can provide emergency department physicians with computerized prescription writing, discharge instructions, and instant access to clinical and pharmacological reference materials.

The systems are offered free to qualifying hospitals nationwide and are expected to advance efforts to reduce the number of life-threatening prescription errors caused by illegible or confusing handwriting. ScriptRx systems have been deployed in cities in New Orleans, Boston, New York, Dallas, Charlotte, N.C., and the Florida cities of Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

Rather than make hospitals pay for expensive technology, ScriptRx installs the systems for free and maintains the system on an on-going basis. Updates occur regularly and are integrated into the system seamlessly.

The information in the system is organized around the common ailments and complaints that doctors routinely encounter in an emergency room, such as colds, flu, fractures, abdominal pain and various overdoses.

Douglas Wheeler, president and CEO, says ScriptRx is installing systems at a rate of 20 a month, with more than 100 hospitals waiting for the systems. With the new capital, the company expects to accelerate its install rate and begin the application expansion.

Despite this last round being a Series A round, in March 2001, Deutsche Bank Sharps Pixley Inc. and Lighthouse Ventures made what was described as angel investments in the company and its technology. Although specific terms of the investment were not announced, the investment greatly accelerated ScriptRx’s ability to respond to tremendous market demand for ScriptRx, Wheeler says.