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10 Ways to Set Practice Managers Up for Success When Implementing ePrescribing

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June 6, 2024

Practice managers play an essential role in the day-to-day operations of a medical practice, ensuring that it runs smoothly and efficiently. They are often referred to as the glue that holds the practice together because of their expansive responsibilities.

Does your administrative staff need some training on new operational procedures? Enlist the help of the practice manager.

Do you have budgeting, billing, or payroll questions about your practice? Ask the practice manager.

How about when you are experiencing downtime or service disruptions while using your electronic health records or practice management software? Time to find the practice manager.

With their hands in every part of the day-to-day operations of clinical practice, it’s important to find ways to support them during change. As we inch closer to 2024, when even more states and government programs like Medicare Part D require ePrescribing, we have put together ten ways to make ePrescribing software implementation more seamless. Hint─ this list can apply to other software implementations, too!

1. Minimize Workflow Disruption

Implementing ePrescribing doesn’t have to disrupt existing workflows. However, clinicians and staff will have to adapt to the new technology. To minimize disruptions, involve staff in the planning process, require participation in training initiatives, and allow for a gradual transition. A good first step is to conduct a workflow analysis to identify trouble areas. Then you can tailor your implementation plan accordingly.

2. Incentivize Technology Adoption

Clinicians and staff may have varying levels of comfort with technology, leading to resistance or reluctance to adopt ePrescribing. Encourage open communication, address concerns, and provide ongoing support to ensure everyone feels comfortable using the new system. Speed up adoption by offering incentives. They could range from recognition for early adoption to small bonuses. Give your users a reason and a reward to dive right in!

3. Ensure Integration with Existing Systems

Integrating ePrescribing with existing EHR systems can be complex, potentially causing compatibility issues or data integration challenges. Anticipating and addressing hurdles should not be an afterthought. Work closely with your EHR vendor to ensure seamless integration and resolve any technical hurdles promptly. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and work with vendors who have integrated with a variety of EHRs. This insures that they are experienced across platforms. By communicating early and often in the process, the practice manager will have less troubleshooting to do.

4. Be Mindful of the Cost of Implementation

There is no universal pricing list for ePrescribing. Costs will vary from vendor to vendor. Often, implementing ePrescribing involves upfront costs for software, training, and potential hardware upgrades. Carefully evaluate the financial implications and consider budgeting for these expenses. Take into account the total cost of ownership. This includes your original investment, but also the ongoing costs of maintenance. Don’t throw your practice manager an unexpected curveball as they try to balance the budget.

5. Check Pharmacy Compatibility

Ensure compatibility between your ePrescribing system and the pharmacies your patients frequent. Communicating with pharmacies will be key to addressing any network compatibility issues or workflow changes. These connections are also crucial to being able to provide Real-time Pharmacy Benefit checks, or initiating Electronic Prior Authorizations. Both, patient-centered services that also increase efficiencies by reducing pharmacy callbacks, fax time, and additional patient consults.

6. Help Educate Patients

Patients may need education on the new ePrescribing process. The good news is that oftentimes, it’s more convenient for them. Develop patient education materials that explain the benefits of ePrescribing, such as enhanced medication safety and quicker prescription fulfillment. Use various communication channels like your practice’s website, waiting room displays, and handouts .to provide clear instructions and address any questions or concerns they may have.

7. Commit to Ongoing Monitoring and Evaluation

Implement a continuous quality improvement process that includes regular check-ins with staff and patients to solicit feedback on the ePrescribing system’s performance. Use this feedback to make iterative improvements. Quickly identify and address any challenges that arise. Share this responsibility across the staff. It shouldn’t lie solely with your practice manager.

8. Audit Regulatory Compliance

Stay informed about the latest ePrescribing regulations, such as Medicare part D ePrescribing standards, and ensure your system meets these requirements. Regular audits can help identify and rectify any software gaps. Ensure compliance with all applicable state and federal regulations related to ePrescribing. Help your practice manager maintain proper documentation and procedures to demonstrate standards are being met.

9. Consider Security

Security measures should include encryption of data in transit and at rest, strong authentication protocols, and regular security training for staff. Ensure that your ePrescribing system is compliant with HIPAA and other relevant cybersecurity frameworks. Implement standard operating procedures to protect patient health information transmitted electronically. Regularly review and update security protocols to safeguard sensitive data.

10. Uphold Data Integrity

Ensure the accuracy and integrity of patient medication data in the electronic prescribing system. As more information becomes digitized, more standards across healthcare are put into place, including those named in the CURES Act. As an organization, you should establish clear data governance policies and procedures to maintain data quality in all of your integrated software systems.

The successful implementation of ePrescribing and related technologies in a medical practice hinges on careful planning, clear communication, and a commitment to continuous improvement. By minimizing workflow disruptions, incentivizing technology adoption, ensuring system integration, and being mindful of costs, practices can navigate the transition smoothly. Moving from paper to electronic prescriptions or implementing any new software can present unique challenges to practice managers. It’s essential to maintain open lines of communication and regularly monitor the system’s performance. Help your practice managers prepare and anticipate problems before they escalate with a supportive and unified approach. After all, they are the voice of your practice, representing it to the outside world and building relationships with your patients, providers, and other stakeholders.