What is E-Prescribing?
How Does E-Prescribing Work?
Is Faxing a Prescription to the Pharmacy E-Prescribing?
How Does E-Prescribing Benefit Physicians?
Does electronic prescribing offer the patient advantages?
What is E-Prescribing?
E-Prescribing is a physician’s use of
real-time, patient-specific clinical and economic information, for
consenting patients, to:
Prescribe the most medically appropriate and
cost effective prescription at the point of care, and transmit the
prescription electronically -- from the computer at the practice to the
computer system at the patient’s pharmacy of choice. Pharmacies can also
request refills by sending an electronic refill request to the physician
office for approval.
and the pharmacy are both connected to the Pharmacy Health Information
Exchange, operated by SureScripts, the prescription renewal
authorization process can be streamlined; this then improves practice
efficiency and the timeliness of medication delivery to the patient.
With e-prescribing, prescribers and
practice staff have the potential to access clinical decision support
information such as patient medication history, formulary, benefits and
pharmacy eligibility information, drug-drug interaction alerts,
drug-allergy interaction alerts, and other information that can result
in a safer prescribing decision. By having more comprehensive and
accurate information at the time of prescribing, the practice can
improve the quality of care, potentially increase adherence, and also
reduce the number of call backs from the pharmacist to clarify
prescription information. If the practice
E-Prescriptions arrive directly in the pharmacy’s computer system so
pharmacy technicians spend less time interpreting handwriting or
re-keying information into their computer systems. Since the prescriber
has better information available at the time of prescribing, there is a
lower chance that a call back to the practice will be needed to clarify
prescription information. Pharmacies have made significant investments
to upgrade hardware and software and to train pharmacy staff because
they view e-prescribing as strategically important to improving quality,
safety, efficiency, and consumer convenience. Pharmacies also pay
transaction fees to SureScripts, operator of the Pharmacy Health
Information Exchange, to enable prescribers to exchange prescription
information electronically with pharmacies through their e-prescribing
and EHR systems.
PBMs are also very supportive of e-prescribing because it enables them
to deliver formulary, benefits, pharmacy eligibility, and medication
history information to prescribers at the time of prescribing. Having
this information at the time of prescribing
enables prescribers to
make more informed decisions including prescribing on the patient’s
formulary, prescribing medications that are covered by the patient’s
medication benefits, and prescribing generic or other lower-cost
medications. This ultimately enables prescription of a drug that is of
lower cost and more likely to be picked up and taken by the patient.
With the availability of medication history information, the prescriber
also will be better informed about potential interactions. PBMs have
made substantial investments to enable the delivery of this information
to support safer, more cost-effective prescribing decisions; among other
things, they have paid transaction fees to RxHub to deliver the
information to prescribers through their e-prescribing or EHR system.
Faxing a Prescription to the Pharmacy E-Prescribing?
No. E-prescribing is the two-way,
computer-to-computer connection between a physician practice and a
pharmacy. E-prescribing involves no faxing of prescriptions – it is
paperless. Most EMR users believe that they already send prescriptions
to pharmacies electronically – i.e. they are unaware that it is far more
likely that their EMR is generating faxes that arrive on paper at the
pharmacy’s fax machine.
An estimated 150,000 prescribers located throughout the U.S. are
currently using electronic medical record (EMR) and other clinical
software to fax prescriptions to pharmacies.
Computer-generated faxing of prescriptions not only prevents physicians
from achieving the gains in practice efficiency and patient safety
associated with e-prescribing, but starting on January 1, 2009, all
computer-generated prescriptions covered by the Medicare Part D program
must be transmitted electronically and not via computer-generated fax.
E-Prescribing Benefit Physicians?
By Saving Time. Prescription refill
authorization requests are sent directly to your computer. You can then
review and respond to all of your pending requests with a few
keystrokes. This streamlined process reduces pharmacy faxes and phone
calls and allows you to complete refill authorizations in much less
By Enhancing Staff Productivity.
The reduction in pharmacy faxes and
phone calls associated with refill requests, legibility issues, drug
By Improving Patient
Safety. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) 1.5 million
preventable medication errors occur in the United States each year.
Pharmacy connectivity can help prevent medication errors and the
injuries they cause.
By Providing Access to a Single View of
Patient Rx History Across Community Pharmacies. Accessing a single view
of a patient’s medication across providers during a patient’s office
visit helps to decrease the risk of preventable medication errors and
increase your ability to manage a patient’s adherence and compliance.
Does Electronic Prescribing Offer the Patient
In a word – convenience. E-prescribing
eliminates the extra trip to the pharmacy to drop off the prescription.
Additionally, an important advantage of a prescription being sent
electronically is that the message is already formatted in such a way
that the pharmacy computer can assimilate the information for rapid
dispensing. You have the comfort of knowing that an accurate, legible
prescription will arrive at the pharmacy, that won't get lost,
misplaced, destroyed or forgotten by the patient