What are the benefits of e-Prescribing?
e-Prescribing increases patient safety. One of the ways in which e-Prescription software does this is with warning systems and alerts at the point of prescription that flag potentially harmful drug interactions, drug allergies, and dosage errors. These alerts have the potential to reduce a significant amount of the 7,000 deaths that occur annually in the United States due to medication errors.
Another way in which e-Prescription software increases patient safety is by eliminating legibility errors. When a physician inputs prescription information electronically, the medication errors caused by illegible hand-written prescriptions are non-existent because everything is written in computer text. This not only increases patient safety, but also decreases the risks related to liability.
The increased legibility of electronic prescriptions doesn’t just help patient safety, but also aids in streamlining the overall prescription process by reducing the need for call-backs from pharmacists to verify prescription information. According to an article about e-Prescribing by HIMSS, almost 30% of all the written prescriptions in the U.S. require call-backs. Calls between pharmacists and physicians can be time consuming and subsequently costly. These calls disrupt the work flow in the facility and reduce productivity of both the health care professional and the support staff. Along with reducing call-backs e-Prescriptions also eliminate the need for faxes because all information is sent electronically rather than through phone lines and without wasting paper.
Electronic prescribing does not just help in the initial prescription but it also helps request, receive, and authorize refills much easier. When the time comes for refills, the pharmacy can automatically inform the physician, who can review the file and make a quick determination and authorization. Refills can be submitted with the click of a mouse. The pharmacy can then notify the patient that the prescription is ready.
e-Prescribing also provides a tremendous amount of convenience and flexibility to the physician. Mobile electronic devices such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones that operate on wireless networks allow the physician to write and renew prescriptions from any location and the electronic medical record will be automatically updated.
The quality of care the patient receives is dramatically impacted by the e-Prescription movement. e-Prescription software is also capable of including drug reference software programs. Automatic review of formulary guidelines allows health care professionals to select medication options that are cost effective for their patients. Improved reporting capabilities accommodate quick identification of patients affected by drug recall to further ensure patient safety.