E-Prescribing and Electronic Prescribing

E-Prescribing (electronic prescribing) is the process of a prescriber electronically sending a prescription from the prescribers office.

Providers benefit from ePrescribing by:
  • Obtaining real-time information about potential drug-drug and drug-allergy interactions. This minimizes calls from pharmacies and reduces potential adverse drug events.
  • Reducing handwriting interpretation errors, estimated to cause 9% of all medication errors.
  • Seeing plan formulary requirements (prior authorization, quantity restrictions, non-covered drug, and drug tier) at the point of care, giving the patient faster access to cost-effective care.
  • Seeing a patient’s dispensed drug history, thereby enabling the prescriber to make clinically appropriate decisions at the point of care.
  • Knowing when an FDA Safety Alert has been issued, and allowing them to generate a report of all patients on the drug without needing to pull patient charts.
  • Having access to clinical decision support tools.
  • Increasing the convenience and efficiency of the prescription-writing process.

Office staff benefit from ePrescribing by:
  • Reducing calls from pharmacies regarding non-covered medications and handwriting questions.
  • Speeding the prescription renewal process by reducing the need to pull patient charts.
  • Case studies suggest a savings of 1-2 hours/day for office staff.
  • Eliminating calls from patients who are requesting an alternative covered medication or need the prescriber to request prior authorization.

Patients benefit by:
  • Having lower out-of-pocket costs when prescribers respond to ePrescribing formulary messages.
  • Saving time at the pharmacy by having prescriptions sent prior to patient arrival, and reducing the potential for two trips because prescribers more frequently adhere to health plan requirements.
  • Reducing potential for adverse drug events caused by drug-drug or drug-allergy interactions, mistaken handwriting, or incorrect dosage.
  • Increasing compliance with prescribed treatment because care is cost-effective and convenient.

Pharmacies benefit by:
  • Reducing phone calls to physicians regarding handwriting interpretation, non-covered drugs, and prior authorization requirements.
  • Reducing data entry when prescriptions are received electronically.
  • Reducing potential errors caused by handwriting misinterpretation and keystroke errors

Because e-prescribing provides drug and formulary information at the point of care, it has been credit with decreasing pharmacy costs by increasing the use of generic drugs.

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