What is Electronic prescribing? It is the ability of a prescriber to transmit prescriptions directly to a pharmacy electronically in order to increase accuracy and reduce error. New York City is currently testing a program involving electronic prescribing which also known as e-presribing or eRx. NYC’S program is titled ZappRx and is improving the way pharmacists, doctors, and patients interact with one simple smartphone application. This app is being used to manage prescription payments and medical information. For the first time, patients will be able to order and pay for prescriptions electronically, doctors will be able to e-prescribe to their patients; and pharmacists will be able to communicate digitally with the prescriber and pre-process insurance information. Adherence verification, medication reconciliation, refill requests, symptom tracking, provider messaging, and bill pay are all done through the mobile platform. This ...view middle of the document...
The eRx program is a U.S. government program, which provides economic encouragements to therapists, practitioners and physicians whom have met definite particular criteria for the use of qualified e-prescribing systems.
Some of the benefits of e-prescriptions are that there can be a significant reduction in the medication errors that happen nearly 1.5 million times a year. If prescribers were 100% compliant with the use of e-prescription, this reduction would greatly increase but alas the current situation denotes that this initiative has fallen short of the goal.
E-prescribing is not all benefits, there are some challenges that arise with this technology. Meaningful use objectives include having at least 75 percent of all prescriptions written and transmitted electronically. To help meet this goal, incentive program that awards early adopters and penalizes those that do not take on the initiative by 2012, with penalties increasing until 2014.
All in all, the benefits out weigh the challenges fro e-prescriptions. These include but not limited to:
• Improving patient safety and quality of care –
• Illegibility from handwritten prescriptions is eliminated, decreasing the risk of medication errors while simultaneously decreasing risks related to liability.
• Oral miscommunications regarding prescriptions can be reduced, as e-prescribing should decrease the need for phone calls between prescribers and dispensers.
• Causes of medication errors include mistakes by the pharmacist incorrectly interpreting illegible handwriting or ambiguous nomenclature, and lapses in the prescriber's knowledge of desired dosage of a drug or undesired interactions between multiple drugs.
Electronic prescribing has the potential to eliminate most of these types of errors. Warning and alert systems are provided at the point of care. E-prescribing systems can enhance an overall medication management process through clinical decision support systems that can perform checks against the patient's current medications for drug-drug interactions, drug-allergy interactions, diagnoses, body weight, age, drug appropriateness, and correct dosing. E-prescriptions are here to stay, only time and use will tell how much an effect it create.