E-prescribe Pros & Cons

E-prescribe Pros & Cons

As clinicians, we signed up to be lifelong learners. Clinical research and medical e-prescribe updates constantly shift patient care protocols. We are always learning and adapting to provide the highest level of care to our patients. This need for constant learning and adaptation also applies to our workflow – including our electronic medical record. The ability to electronically prescribe medications became legal in 2007, and E-prescribe enables the electronic transmission of prescriptions and access to a patient’s medication history at the point of care.

This innovation in health technology has allowed for better cost, efficiency, and ultimately, improved patient outcomes. Clinicians become instantly more efficient and this time saver allows for a direct increase in clinic productivity. With this new feature, patients, providers, and clinics can enjoy a variety of benefits. 

Electronic Prescribing Allows for a Variety of Benefits

  • Improved prescription accuracy
  • Increased patient safety
  • Decreased costs
  • Real time, secure electronic connectivity between clinician and pharmacy
  • Increased efficiency
  • Legible prescriptions, checked at time for prescribing for harmful interactions
  • Automated steps, making the provider more available
  • Lower overall operating costs
  • Decreased errors
  • Drug-drug or drug-allergy interaction notifications: prevention of possible adverse effects
  • Ease of data entry where prescribers can choose medication, dose, route, frequency from an established list of choices
  • Improved standardization of prescription writing process.
  • Increased patient compliance

The American Medical Association highlights the benefits of e-prescribing, reinforcing the safety alert feature and diminished out of pocket expense for patients. Moreover, this feature allows the clinician to review a patient’s chart and medical information during the patient encounter in case addition information is required.

This benefit isn’t just for patient and provider, pharmacies enjoy the ease of use as well. Streamlined communication between pharmacist and prescriber allows for a quick and easy refill request process without a constant back and forth phone tag.

Click to get an efficient, secure, streamlined medication process with E-Prescribe at your treatment center

We talked about benefits to the provider, pharmacist, and clinical practice – but what’s in it for the patient? Not to worry, patients aren’t left out when it comes to reaping the rewards of this modernization process.

E-prescribing Pros

  • Increased convenience – prescriptions waiting for them when they arrive to the pharmacy
  • Refills processed as a faster speed
  • Cross checked prescriptions decreasing the chance for adverse events
  • Increased safety in the form of allergy warnings
  • Possibility of decreased copay expenses since this information will be availability to the clinician at the time of prescribing.

While the pros of e-prescription outweigh the cons, challenges always exist. Depending on the e-prescription feature that is chosen, some systems are more complex than others. This creates a learning curve and an additional training requirement for clinician use.

For some providers that may not be as accustomed to using technology in their daily practice, this change could be intimidating. Financial consideration is always a component when selecting an e-prescription feature. How easily will it be incorporated into the current practice workflow? With any computer-based transfer of information, the concern for privacy of health information exists. Finally, this technology opens the door to new types of errors that could be the result of a simple “typo.”

E-Prescribing Cons

  • Ease of use
  • Privacy of health information
  • Financial burden
  • Complex technology requiring additional training for staff
  • Medication errors due to “typos”

While challenges exist, the benefits of e-prescription outweigh the cons. With the modernization of health care, clinics run the risk of becoming out of date without this feature.

Schedule an in-service today to find out how Opus Behavioral can help you stay at the forefront of technology with the e-prescribe feature.

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