Prescribing is not easy… Part One

Writing a prescription involves so many steps:

  1. Finding the right drug
  2. Entering the prescription into your EMR
  3. Confirming with the patient their preferred pharmacy
  4. Faxing or printing a prescription for a patient…

Here is what you don’t know when you fax or print a prescription:

  • Did the prescription get to the pharmacy?
  • Did the pharmacist have the right medication?
  • Was the prescription dispensed? 

What is ePrescribing?

ePrescribing as a technology allows medication data to be sent from the prescriber to the pharmacy. Unlike eFax which sends an image of a prescription, ePrescribing sends the actual prescription data. Sending data provides a few distinct advantages which include:

  • Ensuring that pharmacy data does not need to be interpreted or reviewed by a pharmacy team member
  • The ePrescription is sent directly to the pharmacist for review
  • The ePrescription does not fail

Why use ePrescribing?

I would contend as a primary care provider that the single most important benefit of ePrescription is the fact that when you send it, it is sent. There is no loss of a fax, there are no difficulties related to processing the image and there is no reliance on handwriting.

Often times in primary care, we adapt to inadequate technology. For example, if I am working with eFax in an evening clinic, I will routinely print prescriptions instead of faxing them to mitigate the risk of a fax failure. With ePrescriptions, I send them with full confidence and the knowledge that the prescription will not fail. 

Through the adoption of ePrescribing with PrescribeIT, I’ve noted many other major clinical advantages that have changed my practice:

  • I receive dispense notifications when prescriptions have been dispensed to a patient 
  • I can communicate directly with pharmacists if a limited use code is required or a clarification is needed around quantity, substitution or a contraindication I did not consider. 

In short, the utilization of ePrescribing facilitates the ability of a provider to communication asynchronously with a pharmacist and completely removes the risk, barriers and burdens generated by faxing prescriptions to a pharmacy.

The time to modernize your prescribing practices is now and ePrescribing through PrescribeIT has achieved this by integrating with all major primary care EMRs and pharmacy management systems. 

What else?

Look for more on e-prescribing in future blog posts!

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