4 Proof Points That Your Company is Ready for ePrescribing

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In an industry that sometimes feels slow to change, there has been a steady drumbeat across all of healthcare to begin putting more digital tools in place for convenience, reporting, tracking, and because of government regulations.

ePrescribing is becoming a top-of-the-list item for new ways healthcare entities deliver care. Because of changes in policy over the last couple of years, it is turning out to be a necessity, especially if your practice prescribes controlled substances.

In an effort to fight opioid addiction, gain better visibility to prescribing behaviors across the country, and monitor at-risk patients, in most states, electronic prescribing of these powerful drugs is becoming mandatory. This may ignite anxiety in companies that have yet to embrace the technology and the required certifications that come with it. Nearly all 50 states and the District of Columbia are on board with ePrescribing controlled and non-controlled substances; some even require it. More and more companies and pharmacies are scrambling to become certified for EPCS.

Here are four conversations you should have with your management team to prove your company’s ePrescribing readiness.

You want to ensure patient safety and quality of care to the highest degree:

When a patient comes into a provider’s office, the purpose of their visit is to help them on a path to better help. However, how can you be certain that this patient also has good intentions? With ePrescribing, you gain more visibility to their medication list and can eliminate the guesswork with access to their full medication history. As the provider, you will see how often they have been prescribed a controlled substance to ensure they aren’t “shopping” for meds. You will also be alerted about any potential drug-to-drug and drug-to-allergy interactions.

It’s time to simplify clinical workflows to spend more time with patients:

Implementing an ePrescribing system will reduce the time spent on pharmacy calls and faxes while reducing clinical errors and time spent deciphering a provider’s handwriting. The automation and electronic efficiency put in place will allow providers to focus on high-quality care and spend more time having meaningful dialogue with their patients. With built-in transparency tools such as Real-Time Prescription Benefit, the value of treatment is increased because providers can more easily provide affordable medication options based on each patient’s specific insurance coverage and formulary.

Everyone is looking to lower costs:

ePrescribing reduces costs associated with administrative tasks for providers and pharmacies by saving time and resources. In a 2020 study published by the Annals of Internal Medicine®, it was noted that 34.2% of healthcare expenditures are on administration, not treatment. This figure amounts to over $812 billion, or $2497 per capita.

There are also high costs associated with prescriptions that were not correctly prescribed. Medication errors, as defined by the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error and Prevention (NCCMERP), are considered “… any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm, while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer. Such events may be related to professional practice, health care products, procedures, and systems, including prescribing; order communication; product labeling, packaging, and nomenclature; compounding; dispensing; distribution; administration; education; monitoring; and use”. Utilizing an ePrescribing solution can help to minimize these errors because safeguards such as drug-allergy or drug-drug interactions are carefully monitored in the software alerting prescribers of potential dangers.

Combatting prescription drug abuse is a top priority:

The abuse of controlled substances, particularly opioids, is not slowing down. The good news is that ePrescribing can help. Patients will no longer have access to a paper prescription which can easily be lost, stolen, or tampered with since the prescription will be sent directly to the pharmacy. Having access to their medication history will also assist providers in knowing if this patient is doctor-shopping or scheduling appointments with multiple providers trying to obtain controlled substances without the other providers knowing.  Visibility is key, and at least 20 states have enacted laws to help combat this problem.

The benefits that electronic prescribing offers providers and their patients significantly eliminate risks regarding fraud and drug abuse and associated costs.

So, go ahead. Start the conversation about integrating ePrescribing into your daily workflows. If the above rings true, it sounds like you’re ready!