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.


E-prescribing is the electronic transmission of a prescription from a physician or other prescriber to a pharmacy.

The benefits of e-prescribing include improved accuracy and efficiency, as well as the ability to send prescriptions directly to the pharmacy of the patient's choice.

E-prescribing can help improve patient safety by reducing the risk of errors associated with paper prescriptions, such as illegible handwriting or incorrect dosage amounts.

Potential risks associated with e-prescribing include privacy concerns and the potential for hackers to access sensitive information.

The use of e-prescribing is widespread in the United States; according to one estimate, more than 80% of physicians are using some form of electronic prescribing system.

E-prescribing is likely to become even more common in the future as technology advances and more people become comfortable with using it.