E-prescribe software is an electronic health system designed to improve the safety and quality of prescriptions given to patients. It allows health care providers to send prescriptions to pharmacies electronically instead of using paper. Research indicates that e-prescriptions minimize prescription errors, improve system efficiency, and reduce the overall costs of healthcare.
Many practitioners have access to e-prescribe software through their electronic health records technology or EHR. But this isn’t the only way to experience the benefits of e-prescribe. Smaller practices especially, have much to gain from implementing standalone e-prescribe without an EHR.
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Why Adopt Standalone e-Prescribe Software?
Standalone e-prescribe systems are cheaper than those that are integrated with EHRs. Simply put, the cost of bringing on one software rather than an entire comprehensive system is much less. If it suits your needs, this is a great, economical way to start transitioning your practice to electronic data and workflow management or telehealth capabilities.
Freestanding e-prescribe software is also easier to manage than integrated systems. It helps coordinate patient treatment by putting all their medication history in one portal. Standalone e-prescribe systems are less complex than those that are integrated with an EHR and can be implemented quickly. They also require less infrastructure than integrated systems.
How to Implement Your e-Prescribe System
1. Assess Your Practice for Readiness
Start by preparing your practice for the change. A new electronic prescription system will only be successful if the staff is willing to embrace change. You may need to be a champion who will advocate the need to use electronic prescriptions throughout the organization. If similar projects have failed in the past, investigate why they failed and learn from that experience. It helps to discuss with senior managers about the costs, workflow changes, and other issues that may impede the change. Make sure there are sufficient resources and commitment to support the plan.
2. Define Your e-Prescribe Needs
The second step is to determine the systemic improvements your practice hopes to gain from adopting the e-prescription technology. These objectives will guide the implementation process and provide the measures you will use to evaluate the system. At the beginning, you might prioritize some benefits over others to reduce the complexity of the new system. Defining your needs will help your team and support staff know where to start, so you can get the most out of your new software.
3. Identify Objectives
Once you’ve defined your needs, use them to develop a clear vision of what you want to achieve through e-prescription. Create a project team that will review the prescription workflow and ensure that you achieve the anticipated benefits. Select a project leader who is very knowledgeable about the practice and is well respected by the team members and the rest of the staff. This is the person who will be the face of the project, guide the team, and coordinate with IT and your software account manager.
4. Understand the Costs and Financial Implications
E-prescribe is an investment. Proper use could yield incredible return on that investment, but it is an investment none the same. Conduct a thorough analysis of the upfront and post-implementation costs of the project and explore the financing options that are available to your practice. You may need to assess the different subsidies and reimbursement programs available to you and choose the best. The type of technology you choose will have a direct effect on the software and hardware requirements. Make sure you include all the hardware requirements and extra network demands of the new system.
5. Select Your Standalone e-Prescribe System
There are many standalone e-prescribe systems available on the market, and selecting the right one can be a daunting task. By now, you should have a rough idea of your practice needs and the associated costs of your chosen program. Work with your project team to define evaluation criteria, so you can identify the pros and cons of each system. Perform simulations based on your workflows and the offerings of different vendors. Further, consult with and read reviews from other practices that have already implemented e-prescription systems. Use the information to develop a shortlist of suitable programs.
The final and most crucial stage is ensuring that all systems are used according to plan. It takes time for staff to adjust to the new workflows, but you can do it through effort and commitment. You can enhance adoption and effectiveness by reserving time for training and workflow integration. Provide both prior and on-site training to allow users to learn the system in their working spaces. Pace yourself by postponing some processes until users have grasped the basics. Further, create open lines of communication so that users are attended to when they have concerns.
Now, you’ve got the foundation to start evaluating whether freestanding e-prescribe solutions are right for your practice and know how to implement them if they are. NewCropRx offers award-winning eRx solutions. Contact us to learn more and schedule your live demo today.