Electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) refers to the exchange of both prescription and medication history information among prescribers, pharmacies and insurance payers/pharmacy benefit managers. E-prescribing can be done using an EHR system, web-based program or e-prescribing software. Pharmacies can also send e-refill requests back to the prescribing provider. The e-prescription database can allow the provider access to the patient’s medication history, preferred formulary and eligibility information.
As you can imagine, it is much easier to decide on which intranasal steroid to prescribe if you know which one is preferred by the patient’s formulary ahead of time. E-prescribing has the potential to improve the efficiency of the prescribing process and reduce medication errors. A recent study based on telephone interviews of physician practices, community pharmacies and mail-order pharmacies revealed that most users interviewed were generally satisfied with electronic transmission of new prescriptions, but reported that the electronic renewal process was used inconsistently. They concluded that changes in technical standards and system design, and more targeted physician and pharmacy training, may be needed to address barriers to e-renewals, mail-order pharmacy connectivity and pharmacy processing of e-prescriptions. E-prescribing can be used as a good first step toward adoption of EHRs.
• “A Practical Primer on e-Prescribing”
• e-Prescribing Incentive Program
• National e-Prescribing Patient Safety Initiative - offers free e-prescribing software
• e-Prescribing resources from Physicians Practice - membership required
• e-Prescribing Primer from Physician’s Practice
• U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: What is e-Prescribing?