As clinicians, we signed up to be lifelong learners. Clinical research and medical e-prescribe updates constantly shift patient care protocols. We are always learning and adapting to provide the highest level of care to our patients. This need for constant learning and adaptation also applies to our workflow – including our electronic medical record. The ability to electronically prescribe medications became legal in 2007, and E-prescribe enables the electronic transmission of prescriptions and access to a patient’s medication history at the point of care.
This innovation in health technology has allowed for better cost, efficiency, and ultimately, improved patient outcomes. Clinicians become instantly more efficient and this time saver allows for a direct increase in clinic productivity. With this new feature, patients, providers, and clinics can enjoy a variety of benefits.
Electronic Prescribing Allows for a Variety of Benefits
Improved prescription accuracy
Increased patient safety
Real time, secure electronic connectivity between clinician and pharmacy
Legible prescriptions, checked at time for prescribing for harmful interactions
Automated steps, making the provider more available
Lower overall operating costs
Drug-drug or drug-allergy interaction notifications: prevention of possible adverse effects
Ease of data entry where prescribers can choose medication, dose, route, frequency from an established list of choices
Improved standardization of prescription writing process.
This benefit isn’t just for patient and provider, pharmacies enjoy the ease of use as well. Streamlined communication between pharmacist and prescriber allows for a quick and easy refill request process without a constant back and forth phone tag.
We talked about benefits to the provider, pharmacist, and clinical practice – but what’s in it for the patient? Not to worry, patients aren’t left out when it comes to reaping the rewards of this modernization process.
Increased convenience – prescriptions waiting for them when they arrive to the pharmacy
Refills processed as a faster speed
Cross checked prescriptions decreasing the chance for adverse events
Increased safety in the form of allergy warnings
Possibility of decreased copay expenses since this information will be availability to the clinician at the time of prescribing.
While the pros of e-prescription outweigh the cons, challenges always exist. Depending on the e-prescription feature that is chosen, some systems are more complex than others. This creates a learning curve and an additional training requirement for clinician use.
For some providers that may not be as accustomed to using technology in their daily practice, this change could be intimidating. Financial consideration is always a component when selecting an e-prescription feature. How easily will it be incorporated into the current practice workflow? With any computer-based transfer of information, the concern for privacy of health information exists. Finally, this technology opens the door to new types of errors that could be the result of a simple “typo.”
Ease of use
Privacy of health information
Complex technology requiring additional training for staff
Medication errors due to “typos”
While challenges exist, the benefits of e-prescription outweigh the cons. With the modernization of health care, clinics run the risk of becoming out of date without this feature.
Schedule an in-service today to find out how Opus Behavioral can help you stay at the forefront of technology with the e-prescribe feature.