eRx – Electronic Prescribing
6 Must Have e-Prescribing Software Features
To qualify for Medicare’s eRx Incentive Program, today’s e-Prescribing systems must offer Stage 2 MU electronic prescription reporting. PracticeSuite provides connectivity to pharmacies nationwide with complete drug interaction, allergy, and condition interactions, formularies, and effortless MU reporting. Keep up to date with Meaningful Use using the latest technology from PracticeSuite!
Cloud Based e-Prescribing Solutions
PracticeSuite’s eRx solution serves physicians throughout ambulatory, acute, post-acute, long term, and specialty healthcare settings, and is actionable from within our EHR, which is accessible on any device connected to the internet. Our eRx solution:
- Reduces practice costs
- Improves patient safety
- Increases physician efficiency
- Provides quick and easy MU reporting
- It expands your reach by providing a single connection to the largest network of long term and post-acute care facilities, pharmacies, EHRs, health systems, and health information exchanges.
Definition of e-Prescribing
CMS defines e-Prescribing as a healthcare providers ability to electronically send an accurate, error-free and understandable prescription directly to a pharmacy from the point-of-care. Or as TechTarget puts it: E-prescribing, or electronic prescribing is a technology framework that allows physicians and other medical practitioners to write and send prescriptions to a participating pharmacy electronically instead of using handwritten or faxed notes or calling in prescriptions.
History of e-Prescribing (Yesterday and Today)
In 1999 eRx platforms such as Surescripts began building electronic connections to the nation’s 70,000 pharmacies.
But in 2003 eRx really took off with the Medicare Modernization Act. And although today e-prescribing is mainstream, it continues to be a hot topic: A recent Bill (H.R.3528 – Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act) proposes to lock down controlled substance abuse by taking prescriptions out of the hands of users.
The original thinking years ago was that transmitting Schedule III, IV, V prescriptions electronically would be too risky. As it turns out, age-old paper prescriptions are the risk, and it seems electronic orders are the answer. But the National Community Pharmacists Association – NCPA states that electronic prescribing of restricted medications is only one part of a multifaceted need to end prescription fraud.
Boosting Prescribing & Ordering Efficiency With Automation
Electronic prescribing systems are saving more trees, more fax chemicals, and more healthcare dollars every year. These systems save resources by streamlining the prescription process—with the most dramatic results coming from outpatient settings, because these offices have been the heaviest users of paper-based prescribing.
However, significant barriers remain, including cost of implementation, lack of provider support, patient privacy concerns, system errors, and legal issues. Incomplete information is another obstacle—the system may not have information on all medications a patient is taking, such as over-the-counter drugs, or it may lack information about how drugs interact.
If you’re looking to get the most efficiency out of your e-prescribing, look for the latest, top six must-have eRx software features.
6 Must Have eRx Software Features
#1. Pharmacy Options
Your patients may want to keep the pharmacist they’ve had for years, even if it means they pay a little more to fill their prescriptions. It shouldn’t be difficult to add pharmacies to your e-prescribing service’s routing service, and doing so is probably less expensive than replacing patients who leave because your system can’t accommodate their pharmacist.
#2. Automated Renewal Authorization
This saves providers from manually or verbally requesting refills for patients, and pharmacists needn’t contact a practice repeatedly to verify a renewal. For patients, automatic renewal means their treatment isn’t interrupted due to a missed call or a closed office. In addition, studies have shown that when physicians and pharmacists use e-prescribing instead of paper prescriptions, the number of unfilled prescriptions decreases because it’s easier for patients to get their prescriptions filled and refilled.
#3. Documentation capabilities.
Electronic prescribing can improve documentation of patients’ medication adherence by tracking what medications are ordered and when, as well as when a prescription is filled or refilled. EHRs with integrated e-prescribing capabilities can log this information, creating a comprehensive view of the patient’s care over time.
#4. Measures to Reduce Prescribing Errors
Studies suggest that e-prescribing has reduced prescribing errors to as little as one-seventh of pre-2007 levels. Improved patient outcomes and decreased patient visits are estimated to have saved between $140 billion and $240 billion over 10 years for practices that have implemented e-prescribing.
Robust e-prescribing systems can detect out-of-range dosing and duplicate drugs, such as two prescriptions for the same drug or prescriptions for two drugs in the same class. They can generate alerts to potential safety issues and describe the seriousness of the problem. Integrated into a practice’s EHR, some e-prescribing software can provide formulary information on all the drugs prescribed and check the accuracy of patients’ insurance and pharmacy benefits management information.
#5. Patient Education and Provider Feedback
Patients will have questions about the medicines they take, and a strong e-prescribing system can provide answers to both patients and practitioners. Electronic prescribing systems should be able to connect to pharmacy databases to locate information about comparative costs, possible side effects, and alternative medications. Look for e-prescribing technology that can easily print out patient education information on any medication prescribed—even over-the-counter drugs.
#6. Prescriptions for Controlled Substances
Electronic prescribing and tracking of controlled substances, such as opioids, can ensure their effective use while eliminating poor record-keeping as an avenue for abuse. Practices are catching on: 45.3 million prescriptions for controlled substances were delivered electronically in 2016, a 256% rise from the 12.81 million controlled substance e-prescriptions in 2015, Surescripts reported.
A final note: in all likelihood, your patients understand the benefits of effective electronic prescribing systems. In a 2015 survey of patients age 50 and older, 84% of participants expected e-prescriptions; 81% preferred e-prescriptions to paper prescriptions. In addition, participants who received e-prescriptions reported more communication regarding medication-related topics with their doctor.
- Perspectives in Health Information Management, Spring 2014, “Electronic Prescribing: Improving the Efficiency and Accuracy of Prescribing in the Ambulatory Care Setting,” by Amber Porterfield, et al., //perspectives.ahima.org/electronic-prescribing-improving-the-efficiency-and-accuracy-of-prescribing-in-the-ambulatory-care-setting-2/
- The Center for Improving Medication Management, June 2008, “A Consumer’s Guide to E-Prescribing: Understanding the Benefits of E-Prescribing, How It Works, and What You Can Do,” //www.thecimm.org/PDF/eHI_CIMM_Consumer_Guide_to_ePrescribing.pdf
- gov, February 13, 2015, “A Prescription for e-Prescribers: Getting the Most Out of Electronic Prescribing”
- Medscape, June 9, 2017, “Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances Growing,” by Ken Terry, //www.medscape.com/viewarticle/881355
- Family Practice Management, January-February 2009, “E-prescribing: Why the Fuss?” by Kenneth G. Adler, MD, MMM, //www.aafp.org/fpm/2009/0100/p22.html
- Perspectives in Health Information Management, Winter 2015, “Older Adults’ Perceptions of E-Prescribing: Impact on Patient Care,” by Loren J. Schleiden, et al., //perspectives.ahima.org/older-adults-perceptions-of-e-prescribing-impact-on-patient-care/
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