Doctors in Australia have found it easier to prescribe medication thanks to electronic prescriptions (e-prescriptions), which have been implemented in almost half of the nation, as well as extensive telehealth usage. If you haven’t already, now is the time to discuss this critical adjustment with your Practice Manager. e-Prescriptions are authorized drug prescriptions that are safely delivered electronically toward a prescription exchange service. Best Practice Software sends the patient a QR code token to access the E-prescription by SMS or email. Pharmacists may then download the e-Prescription from the exchange system by scanning the patient’s QR code token. This includes S8 and authority drugs, which may be prescribed electronically.
Pros of E-Prescribing
E-prescribing has been shown to improve patient safety, lower medication prices, expand access to patient prescription information, and improve pharmacy efficiency:
It is critical to improving patient safety. According to estimates, around 1.5 million hazardous drug events (ADEs) occur yearly in the United States, resulting in roughly $3.5 million in healthcare costs. A selection of an erroneous or unavailable medicine, dosage form, or dose; duplication of treatment; deletion of information; and misreading of the order due to poor handwriting are all examples of avoidable mistakes related to written prescriptions. If these mistakes are discovered before the prescription is executed, they often need further discussion between the pharmacist and the physician, delaying patient treatment. Pharmacists in the United States make 150 million phone calls to healthcare providers every year because of difficult-to-understand instructions. Not all errors are recognized, which might result in patient injury or even death.
An experiment analyzing the effect of point-of-care decision assistance software found that the program was financially beneficial to patients. Over 12 months, the average cost of 26,674 new medications prescribed by doctors who used the program was $4.12 less than projected based on a similar number of medications prescribed by providers who did not use the software (P =.003). The savings were attributable to notifications that notified doctors of more cost-effective therapy, proposed discontinuing needless high-cost drugs, and urged optimizing existing therapies before allowing the prescription transmission to a pharmacy.
While significant research has shown how e-prescribing helps patients in terms of goal accomplishment and medication mistake reduction, the community pharmacy likewise stands to profit. Prescription processing may be sped up and wait times shortened with e-prescribing since patients are not required to be present before their prescriptions are filled. Prescriptions are no longer entered manually into the computer system.
Implementing a new e-prescription system boosts a medical office’s efficiency by reducing the time it takes to seek medical refills and increasing the speed of pharmacy turnaround.
E-prescriptions provide clinicians access to patients’ medical histories and illnesses, making it easier to spot any discrepancies. If a patient is allergic to sulfa products and a doctor recommends a sulfa-containing medication, the system sends an alarm message to the doctor.
Cons of E-Prescribing
Although e-prescribing removes inevitable mistakes, it also increases the likelihood of new errors as well as reintroduces issues comparable to those seen with traditional prescriptions. Most e-prescribing mistakes are caused by omitted or erroneous information, such as improper medicine selection, inappropriate patient, and incorrect guidance. Many studies have been undertaken to assess the accuracy of e-prescribing due to the early opposition and lack of acceptability on the side of physicians and pharmacists.
Clarification of Inaccuracies
One of the advantages of e-prescribing—more time for the pharmacist to deliver other services—is negated by the more fabulous time necessary to complete an e-prescription if there are mistakes. Research that compared conventional prescriptions to e-prescriptions discovered that e-prescriptions required more pharmacist engagement with the provider due to missing, erroneous, or ambiguous information. Errors related to e-prescriptions, like those associated with conventional prescriptions, are not always identified by the pharmacist, resulting in lower safety and patient damage. Recent research found that one in ten computer-generated prescriptions contained one pharmaceutical mistake, with one-third being potentially dangerous. This contradicts earlier findings that e-prescribing lowers avoidable medication mistakes, hence lowering patient damage. With such disparities, it is unclear whether the use of e-prescribing software reduces or increases mistakes.
Issues with Software Design
The design characteristics of e-prescribing software like Practice Management Software may enhance the possibility of the problems mentioned above. Drop-down menus, bad screen design, and automated filling features have all been noted as possible causes of mistakes and, as a result, hazards to patient safety. Furthermore, since they need human recording and updating of prescriptions, as well as possible follow-up with providers to remedy gaps, inaccuracies, or lack of clarity, these design aspects may contribute to workflow issues. Furthermore, e-prescriptions may be sent at various periods rather than all at once. These delays affect the pharmacy’s workflow since a call to the provider’s office is required to confirm transmission and ensure that the order was delivered to the right pharmacy. Bundling—the simultaneous transmission of a large number of e-prescriptions—can cause workplace conflict since pharmacy employees must issue correct prescriptions in a timely way.
Other drawbacks of e-prescribing include the expenses of usage, such as set-up, maintenance, as well as transaction fees. E-prescribing software is less expensive for larger pharmacies, while smaller chains and individual pharmacies have to pay more. Some pharmacies can’t accept new prescriptions electronically, including many communities and mail-order ones.
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