E-prescribing: An overview
1. E-prescribing: An overview
E-prescribing is the computer-based electronic prescribing of medications. It is a networked system that allows clinicians to securely transmit prescription orders electronically from the point of care to a patient’s pharmacy. E-prescribing systems typically include drug formulary and clinical decision support tools to help clinicians make safer, more informed prescribing decisions.
E-prescribing has revolutionized the drug prescribing and dispensing process in community pharmacies. By automating the prescribing process, e-prescribing has made it easier and faster for pharmacists to fill prescriptions and verify their accuracy. In addition, e-prescribing systems have been shown to improve patient safety by reducing medication errors.
2. The benefits of e-prescribing
E-prescribing offers many benefits for pharmacists, patients, and prescribers.
For pharmacists, e-prescribing reduces the time needed to fill prescriptions and increases accuracy by eliminating handwriting errors. In addition, e-prescribing systems provide pharmacists with instant access to a patient’s complete prescription history, which can help identify potential drug interactions and improve compliance with medication regimens.
For patients, e-prescribing can improve convenience by allowing them to receive their prescriptions electronically from their prescriber. In addition, e-prescribing systems can help patients save money on their prescriptions by providing them with instant access to formulary information and real-time insurance eligibility verification.
For prescribers, e-prescribing can improve patient safety by reducing medication errors. In addition, e-prescribing systems can help prescribers save time on administrative tasks such as prior authorization requests and prescription renewals.
3. E-prescribing in community pharmacies
E-prescribing is widely used in community pharmacies across the United States. According to a 2017 survey, 96% of community pharmacies reported using e-prescribing systems to fill prescriptions.
The most common type of e-prescribing system used in community pharmacies is the SureScripts system. SureScripts is a nationwide network that connects prescribers and pharmacists for the electronic transmission of prescription orders. SureScripts is used by more than 80% of community pharmacies in the United States.
In addition to SureScripts, there are several other popular e-prescribing systems used in community pharmacies, including RxHub, SurescriptsNetwork Pharmacy, and Change Healthcare Network Pharmacy.
4. The challenges of e-prescribing
E-prescribing systems are not without challenges. One of the biggest challenges is the lack of interoperability between different e-prescribing systems. This lack of interoperability can make it difficult for pharmacists to fill prescriptions from prescribers who use a different e-prescribing system.
Another challenge of e-prescribing is the potential for cyberattacks. E-prescribing systems store sensitive patient information, such as prescription histories and insurance information. This sensitive information is at risk of being accessed and misused by unauthorized individuals if e-prescribing systems are not properly secured.
5. The future of e-prescribing
Despite the challenges, e-prescribing is here to stay. E-prescribing systems have been shown to improve patient safety, increase accuracy, and save time for both pharmacists and prescribers. In addition, e-prescribing systems are becoming more interoperable, making it easier for pharmacists to fill prescriptions from prescribers who use a different e-prescribing system.
The future of e-prescribing is bright. As more pharmacies adopt e-prescribing systems, the benefits will continue to grow. E-prescribing will become the new standard of care for prescribing medications.