E-Prescribing

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Gone are the days where doctors give patients handwritten prescription slip. All the prescription are done electronically to reduce errors. E-prescribing is the process of converting a drug or product prescription-related information into an automated data entry system and generate the prescription in an electronic format.

Electronic prescription is being adopted in the various medical institution to facilitate electronic medical records. This article will help you learn the benefits of e-prescription and its limitations.

 

Pros:

1. Reduce errors: It helps in reducing medication errors due to mix-ups as well as errors which result from poor handwritten prescription.

2. Patients safety: Omission of information and misinterpretation of prescribed drugs can be identified before the prescription is processed. This reduces any fatal mistakes enhancing patient’s safety through e-prescription.

3. Cost benefits: Patients who rely on e-prescribing software receive a lot of financial benefits. Providers can receive cost-effective therapy alerts and recommendation from the software before transmitting any prescription to the pharmacy.

4. Improved workflow: It helps streamline the prescription processing reducing the waiting time. Drug recall help reduce medication cost as well as extend the pharmacist consultation services.

5. Access to prescription records: Storage of prescription records electronically can enable medical practitioners and pharmacists to retrieve past medical records.

6. Accurate information: You can keep accurate patient’s medication information. E-prescription captures everything including prescription by other physicians.

7. Increases productivity: Implementation of a new e-prescription system increases the productivity of a medical office since it decreases the time taken to request medical refills as well as increasing the speed of pharmacy callback.

8. Catch contradictions: E-prescriptions allows providers to have access to patient’s medical history and conditions and can easily catch any contradiction. If the patient is allergic to sulfa products and a physician prescribes a drug with sulfa, the system issues an alert message to the doctor.

9. Saves time: The pharmacist can save time deciphering doctors handwriting. It also helps in saving time on handling prescription refill request forms. Providers and insurance companies can easily verify the eligibility of a prescription within a short time.

10. Reduce forgery: Decreased transmission of handwritten orders and electronic transmission of prescription information results in few cases of prescription forgeries.

 

Cons:

1. Inaccurate information: Although you can eliminate some certain errors through e-prescription, there is the potential for new errors through inaccurate information like the selection of incorrect drug, writing incorrect directions a wrong patient.

2. Clarification of prescription: Compared to the tradition prescription, e-prescription necessitates the pharmacist to spend more time with the provider clarifying the missing or inaccurate information.

3. Expensive: The cost of setting up the e-prescribing system and a medical office is very high. Maintenance fee and online fees also add to the costs.

4. Security issues: In unsecured systems, there are high chances of doctor impersonation who gain access to the system and change patient’s prescription with false information.

5. Software issues: E-prescribing software may have issues like system failures, malfunctions and delays in delivering e-prescription resulting in increased patients wait time and workflow inefficiencies.

6Time-consuming: A lot of time is taken to download all patients’ information into the e-prescription software and updating the patient’s information at every encounter takes time.

7Designated pharmacy: You can only go to a specific pharmacy for your e-prescriptions. Sometimes you’re forced to wait for the pharmacist to update the system and download your prescription.

8. Limited E-prescription drugs: Some medications like narcotics and amphetamines can’t be prescribed using e-prescription. Doctors have to hand-write the prescription of the drugs.

9. Privacy concerns: There are privacy concerns of sharing patient’s data with third parties. There are also questions on acceptance of e-prescribing software for the fear of downloading a Trojan horse into your system.

10. More harm to patients: It is difficult to detect errors associated with e-prescription and this decreases e-prescription safety to patients.

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