How Does E-Prescribing Work?

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As a clinician who prescribes medications, you may be curious about how e-prescribing works and how it benefits your patients and practice. E-prescribing, or electronic prescribing, is the process of transmitting a prescription from a prescriber to a pharmacy via an electronic device such as a computer or tablet. In this article, we’ll walk you through the three main steps of e-prescribing: from the provider to the pharmacy, to the patient.

Step 1: Provider

The first step of e-prescribing is the provider. As a provider, you will use an electronic health record (EHR) or stand-alone e-prescribing software to create a prescription for a medication. With e-prescribing, you can input the prescription into the EHR software and then securely send it electronically to a pharmacy of your choice.

E-prescribing software is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, making it easy for you to navigate and create prescriptions. Most software will require you to enter the patient’s demographic information, select the medication and dosage, specify instructions for use, and enter any other relevant details such as allergies or medication interactions.

Once you have entered all the necessary information, you can review the prescription for accuracy and completeness. E-prescribing software often includes built-in checks for drug interactions, duplicate therapy, and formulary restrictions. These checks help reduce medication errors and improve patient safety.

After ensuring the prescription is accurate, you can electronically sign it and securely transmit it to the pharmacy. This step eliminates the need for handwriting prescriptions and allows for efficient and error-free transmission of prescription information.

Benefits of e-prescribing for providers include:

  • Faster and more convenient than writing out a paper prescription: With e-prescribing, you can create and transmit prescriptions within minutes, saving time and streamlining your workflow.
  • Automatic drug interaction checking: E-prescribing software can automatically check for potential drug interactions based on the patient’s medication profile. This helps reduce the risk of adverse drug reactions and improves medication safety.
  • Electronic record keeping: E-prescribing allows for easy access to prescribing history, making it easier to review past prescriptions, adjust medications, and ensure continuity of care.

Step 2: Pharmacy

Once the prescription is sent electronically to the pharmacy of your choice, it’s up to the pharmacist to fill the order. With e-prescribing, the pharmacist can receive the prescription through their computer system or another electronic device.

Upon receiving the electronic prescription, the pharmacist can access all the necessary information to fill the prescription accurately. This includes the patient’s details, medication name, dosage, and instructions for use. The electronic format ensures that the prescription is legible, reducing the risk of misinterpretation.

The pharmacist can also access additional information about the medication, such as potential drug interactions, dosage guidelines, and generic alternatives. This allows them to provide appropriate counseling to the patient and ensure the prescription aligns with the patient’s medical history and current medications.

Benefits of e-prescribing for pharmacies include:

  • Faster order processing: Electronic prescriptions can be processed quickly, resulting in shorter wait times for patients. This improves patient satisfaction and allows for more efficient pharmacy operations.
  • Improved communication: E-prescribing facilitates seamless communication between the prescriber and the pharmacy. If there are any questions or clarifications needed regarding the prescription, the pharmacist can easily reach out to the provider for clarification, avoiding delays in filling the prescription.
  • Fraud prevention: E-prescribing helps prevent prescription fraud by enhancing security measures. Electronic prescriptions are harder to forge or alter compared to paper prescriptions, reducing the risk of fraudulent activity.

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Step 3: Patient

Finally, the patient will receive their medication once the prescription has been filled. E-prescribing allows for prescriptions to be delivered directly to a patient’s preferred pharmacy, eliminating the need for a paper prescription to be physically transferred between the provider and pharmacy.

When the patient arrives at the pharmacy, they can simply provide their identification and insurance information to pick up their medication. The pharmacist will have already received and processed the electronic prescription, so there will be no need to wait for the prescription to be manually entered into the pharmacy’s system.

Benefits of e-prescribing for patients include:

  • Faster access to medication: E-prescribing eliminates the need for patients to physically carry a paper prescription to the pharmacy, saving them time and effort. They can simply visit the pharmacy at their convenience and pick up their medication without any delays.
  • Reduced medication errors: E-prescribing minimizes the risk of errors commonly associated with handwritten prescriptions, such as illegible handwriting or incorrect dosage instructions. This improves patient safety and reduces the likelihood of medication errors occurring.
  • Higher likelihood of getting the exact medication prescribed: With e-prescribing, the prescription is transmitted electronically to the pharmacy, ensuring that the exact medication and dosage prescribed by the provider are dispensed to the patient. This reduces the chances of medication substitution errors.

NewCrop’s Compliant E-Prescribing Services

At NewCrop, we understand the importance of compliant e-prescribing for healthcare providers. Our e-prescribing services offer a range of benefits that ensure ease of use, security, and compliance with regulatory requirements.

Our compliant e-prescribing services include:

  • EPCS functionality: For providers who prescribe controlled substances, our e-prescribing software supports Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS). This feature enables you to securely and legally prescribe controlled substances electronically, improving convenience and patient safety.
  • Enhanced security features: NewCrop’s e-prescribing software incorporates robust security measures to protect patient information and comply with privacy regulations. We utilize encryption and secure transmission protocols to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of prescription data. We are also an ONC Certified Health IT solution.
  • Improved patient safety: Our software includes structured and codified Sig (instructions for use) functionality, which enhances patient safety by standardizing medication instructions. This helps minimize confusion and ensures that patients understand how to properly take their medications.

Conclusion

E-prescribing is a convenient and secure way for clinicians to prescribe and transmit medication orders to pharmacies. By understanding the benefits of e-prescribing at each step of the process, you can see how it can streamline your workflow, improve patient safety, and enhance the overall prescription experience for both providers and patients. If you’re interested in learning more about compliant e-prescribing with NewCrop, schedule a demo today.

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