14 Benefits of E-Prescribing
You glance down at your notes before walking into the room. You see Jane’s name on the chart and smile as you remember that she is a sweet little girl with four adorable, albeit rambunctious brothers.
As the visit progresses, you realize Jane has an ear infection, and decide to prescribe a round of antibiotics.
You recall that Jane has a history of ear infections and had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic recently, but don’t remember the exact details. You ask Jane’s mother, but before she can answer, her youngest son leaps off the table. She jumps up to catch him. When the commotion settles, she is left flustered and can’t recall the name of the medicine that worked last time.
At this point you glance at your computer screen, thankful the allergy info is right there in your E-prescribing software.
Once you get all the details worked out, you click send, and the prescription is on its way to the pharmacy. Jane’s mother then packs up the kids, thanks you and is off to get the medicine.
E-prescribing offers many benefits for all involved from the prescriber in the patient room to the pharmacy employee who hands the patient the prescription. Here are a few ways E-prescribing is beneficial.
1) Instant notification of allergies, drug interactions, duplicate therapies
E-Prescribing gives prescribers full insight into a patient’s previous prescription history at the click of a button.
System alerts inform prescribers of allergies, potential drug interactions, as well as duplicate therapies, pregnancy and other issues that would be contraindicated for a patient when taking a particular medication.
2) Prevent prescription drug errors
According to the FDA, as many as 95,000 prescription drug errors have been made since 2000. Contributing factors to these errors include drugs that sound similar or have similar spelling.
For example, Valtrex (valACYclovir) and Valcyte (valGANciclovir), are both used for cytomegalovirus (CMV), but for different reasons. A heart transplant patient receiving Valtrex when they need Valcyte is a problem.
By utilizing E-Prescribing, both the prescriber and those who handle the prescription along the way can feel assured they have given the patient the correct medication.
3) Easily prescribe controlled substances
Some E-Prescribing software allows E-prescriptions to be sent for controlled substances to pharmacies in the same process used to e-prescribe legend drugs. This increases workflow efficiencies for the healthcare team and convenience for patients.
4) Monitor controlled substance prescriptions
Prescribers can track the number of controlled substance prescriptions a patient has received decreasing the likelihood of over-prescribing or doctor shopping.
E-prescribing makes it easier for states to track data across multiple pharmacies. Many states have a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP). A PDMP is a statewide electronic database that collects specific data on substances dispensed in the state.
In states that require e-prescribing, the PDMP registry must be consulted when writing prescriptions for Schedule II, III, and IV controlled substances.
5) Reconcile medication history quickly
Prescribers can view a patient’s medication history instantly when using E-prescribing. This saves time reconciling medication lists or committing clinical information to memory manually.
6) Meet meaningful use requirements
Along with the many benefits E-prescribing offers, it also meets necessary foundation criteria of meaningful use in the following ways:
- Stage 1 – required 40% of prescriptions to be sent electronically
- Stage 2 – required more than 50% of prescriptions to be sent electronically
- Stage 3 – requires more than 80% of prescriptions to be sent electronically
7) Easily track prescription fulfillment
When a patient leaves with a handwritten prescription, there is no way to track if the medicine gets filled.
With E-Prescribing, prescribers can track if patients fill prescriptions, giving physicians the ability to counsel patients on medication management if needed. Prescribers can also follow how often prescriptions of controlled substances are filled to monitor potential drug abuse.
8) Reduce lost prescriptions
Paper prescriptions are small and easy to misplace which adds work for medical offices as they must rewrite or call the prescriptions into the pharmacy. E-Prescribing allows prescriptions to be sent directly to the pharmacy, so patients don’t have to keep track of another piece of paper.
9) Spend less time on prescription refill requests
Responding to prescription refill requests takes a significant amount of time for medical office staff. E-Prescribing lets prescribers review, authorize and send prescription refills quickly freeing up staff members for other patient-focused tasks.
Also, for patients who run out of medication while traveling, E-prescribing makes filling the request a simple process.
10) Pharmacy employees spend less time calling to verify orders
Having accurately written prescriptions saves pharmacy employees time as they do not have to call prescribers to verify orders.
Several medications are available in multiple forms, strengths, and dose. E-Prescribing software provides drop-down menus that prompt prescribers to fill out all vital information for a prescription. Many E-Prescribing software systems use standard drug dictionaries and require specific fields be completed before the order will send.
Utilizing E-Prescribing saves both parties time by having complete information in every prescription.
11) Easily prescribe medications that are covered by insurance
Patients are more likely to comply with medication therapy when prescribed medications they can afford. Many E-Prescribing software programs make it easy for the prescriber to choose generic medicines which are more likely to be covered by the patient’s insurance. When the patient incurs fewer costs, there is a better chance they will be compliant with the needed drug therapy.
12) Improve medication adherence
Up to one in five prescriptions are never filled, and as many as half of all medications are not taken as prescribed. Common forms of non-adherence include taking a lower dose than prescribed, not completing the entire course of medication, and not understanding prescription instructions.
Studies show that E-Prescribing helps relieve this issue by increasing first fill medication adherence by as much as 10 percent.
13) Increase patient safety
E-Prescribing improves patient safety by increasing prescription legibility and decreasing medication errors and adverse drug events (ADEs).
14) Reduce readmission risk
As much as 20% of hospital readmissions can be traced to adverse drug events (ADEs). With the help of built-in safety features, like allergy alerts and duplicate therapy alerts, ADEs are significantly reduced.
E-prescribing offers many benefits to prescribers, patients, and pharmacies and increases medication adherence helping everyone involved!