Electronic prescribing, or e-prescribing, is quickly becoming the main way in which physicians communicate with pharmacies regarding prescriptions. In 2010, the DEA introduced a rule called the Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances Rule, giving physicians the option to submit prescriptions electronically without legal barriers. With improvements in technology and networks, this method for prescribing is now superior to older prescription methods in many ways.

Helps to Prevent Errors

E-prescribing greatly reduces the likelihood of prescription errors. Pharmacists do not have to read handwriting or try to differentiate the name of a drug that is very similar to the name of another drug. Electronic prescriptions are easy to read and very clear.

Works with Meaningful Use Requirements

Meaningful Use stage 3 will require that all physicians send at least 80 percent of prescriptions electronically. By switching to a system in which e-prescribing is the main method of prescribing, this requirement is more easily met. The fact that e-prescribing is a requirement of meaningful use shows that the advantages of this method are becoming evident.

Provides Alerts for Potential Reactions

E-prescribing platforms work with electronic health records, so all of a patient’s allergies, medical conditions, and other prescribed drugs are available to a physician when a drug is being prescribed. If a drug is prescribed that may negatively react with another prescription, exacerbate conditions, or cause an allergic reaction, the system alerts the physician. This can help to reduce injuries caused by adverse medication reactions.

Saves Patients a Step

When a paper prescription is written, a patient must deliver the prescription to the pharmacy and then wait for it to be filled. E-prescribing saves patients the extra step by sending the prescription directly to the pharmacy. This saves the patient time and trouble, while also eliminating the potential for the patient to lose the prescription.

Makes Controlled Substance Monitoring Possible

When a prescription is written, it is difficult to determine whether the patient got the prescription filled. Patients may decide not to get the prescription filled for many reasons, or they may forget, but the records will show that the patient was prescribed the drug and the assumption will be that they took it. This may alter medical care and record accuracy.

On the other hand, patients may also visit several physicians for a controlled substance due to addiction issues. This is difficult to spot with paper prescriptions and even with faxed prescriptions. E-prescribing creates a record of all prescriptions that a patient has received, allowing effective monitoring and tracking that can help with identifying abuse and can improve the accuracy of patient records.

To find out more about how e-prescribing could benefit your practice, give us a call today.