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Beyond the Fax: A Closer Look at the Evolution of ePrescribing

Connected Health Cost Transparency digital adoption Digital Health digital innovation DoseSpot e-Prescribing e-Prescribing Benefits e-Prescribing Software Electronic Prescriptions Health IT Patient-Provider Relationship Prior Authorization Real-Time Prescription Benefit
February 26, 2024

The ePrescription Origin Story

Let’s journey back to the not-so-distant days of analog prescribing methods… 

A patient visits a physician and, upon evaluation, obtains a handwritten prescription that is either faxed to their pharmacy of choice or the patient carries the script themself and waits to have it filled. Already a cumbersome experience for the patient, this way of prescribing drugs was also inefficient for healthcare professionals. It required practices to keep paper Rx pads stocked and forced physicians to rely on the word of their patients when obtaining their “complete” medical history, opening up the potential for mistakes, subpar patient care, and, worst of all, harm. In the prescribing world, there are many challenges like script illegibility, non-standard abbreviations, errors in manual entry, and unknown insurance benefits, to name a few.

The Institute of Medicine reported prescribing errors as the largest source of preventable errors in hospitals1. The healthcare workflow needed to evolve, and the clear answer to positively impact both healthcare workers and patients was ePrescribing Software. Gone are the days of dial-up internet and fax-transmitted messages, so too should be handwritten prescriptions.

Early Adopters

Pharmacies, especially big drugstore chains, were largely the first to adopt and implement ePrescribing software technology. Managed care organizations also recognized the value of ePrescribing software to facilitate communication between physicians and pharmacists, formulary compliance, and expedited filling and pick-up for patients. 

Initially, hospitals and private practices remained resistant to electronic prescribing due to the complex integration of Electronic Medical Record and Electronic Health Record systems.2 However, in the decades since digitized health record management arrived on the scene, EMR/EHR systems and complementary integrations, such as ePrescribing software, are infinitely easier to implement and marry harmoniously for optimized end-to-end healthcare workflows.

At DoseSpot, our Surescripts and EPCS-certified ePrescribing platforms seamlessly integrate with telehealth software, EMR/EHRs, practice management platforms, and more. Thanks to our 250+ API calls, we enable healthcare organizations to tailor the system to their existing workflows, limiting the disruption of changing technology and reducing the learning curve when it comes to system training.

“There’s no better example of what healthcare can achieve by working together at scale than the adoption of electronic prescribing.”3

https://surescripts.widen.net/s/mvtqvvf5sd/2022-national-progress-report

The Age of Electronic Prescribing

It’s a digital world; there’s no denying it. It’s efficient and convenient and makes ways of working more innovative than we could have imagined just 20 years ago. The shift to electronic prescribing is particularly timely given the rising prevalence of pharmaceutical companies, the responsibility of the healthcare industry to end opioid abuse, and the increasing necessity to prescribe medications for the aging population, many of which are to treat chronic degenerative conditions that will require lifelong renewals.2 ePrescribing Software bolsters providers’ ability to effectively and safely respond to these growing demands.

Benefits

Speed and convenience aren’t the only upsides to electronic prescribing. As ePrescribing software has evolved since its inception, significant benefits have been realized from both the provider and patient perspectives. Chief among them, providers now have access to a patient’s full medical history, enabling them to be aware of allergies, potential drug-to-drug interactions, and aggregated medication history data from pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).

This complete picture is a huge leg up for providers to combat doctor shopping and drug abuse. DoseSpot selectively pursued EPCS certification with Drummond Group, one of the first DEA-approved certification bodies. Using the DoseSpot ePrescribing platform gives providers access to state-specific controlled substance tracking databases, or Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs), within the ePrescription workflow, helping them to establish smarter treatment plans and identify potential abuses.

Additional reported benefits of electronic prescribing include:

ePrescribing Gets Smarter

ePrescribing software does the hard work to make the end-to-end prescribing experience smarter and simpler by incorporating valuable tools in one easy-to-use interface. Additional DoseSpot ePrescribing software integrations include:

Equally important to safe prescribing in a digital environment is protecting patient information from threats. DoseSpot’s partnership with Surescripts is assurance that our ePrescribing Software delivers electronic prescriptions with the highest level of data integrity and security. Safety and security are built-in to protect patients’ personal data and offer EPCS Audit / Incident and PDMP / NARX Reporting.

What are your next steps?

Whether you’re a provider, healthcare business leader, or healthcare product developer, the question you shouldn’t be asking is, “Do I have to use electronic prescribing at my practice?” Rather, you should be asking, “Why am I not already using electronic prescribing at my practice?” 

250,000+ weekly users are turning to DoseSpot. With our plug-and-play Jumpstart user interface, you could be ePrescribing in as little as 30 days.


Sources:
  1. Institute of Medicine . Crossing the Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century. National Academy Press; 2001. Jun 29,  [Google Scholar]
  2. Salmon JW, Jiang R. E-prescribing: history, issues, and potentials. Online J Public Health Inform. 2012;4(3):ojphi.v4i3.4304. doi: 10.5210/ojphi.v4i3.4304. Epub 2012 Dec 19.
  3. https://surescripts.widen.net/s/mvtqvvf5sd/2022-national-progress-report