The Challanges Of Electronic Prescribing Systems

2236 words - 9 pages

Overview: E-prescribing systems enable the electronic transmissions of prescriptions to pharmacies from the provider's office. The promise of e-prescribing in regard to patient safety is reduction in the time gap between point of care and point of service, reduction in medication errors, and improved quality of care. This paper will give a brief overview concentrating on the reduction in medication errors and the challenges that remain with electronic prescriptions.
Electronic prescribing or known as e-prescribing is the transmission, using electronic media, of prescriptions or prescription-related information from a prescriber (physician, nurse practitioner, etc.) to a pharmacy (Fincham, 2009). The information may flow to a number of parties in addition to the pharmacy, such as a pharmacy benefit manager, health plan, or an intermediary, such as an e-prescribing network (a large centralized system to process electronic prescriptions)(Bloche, 2011). In its simplest form, e-prescribing involves two-way transmissions between the point of care and the pharmacy. E-prescribing is intended to replace writing out, faxing, or calling in prescriptions, and its many proposed benefits include safer, more efficient, and more cost-effective care (Fincham,2009). Because of potential benefits, the federal government has put in place major incentives for providers to adopt e-prescribing and to adopt electronic health records through the meaningful use incentives (Sanders & Buchanan, 2012). But in today’s world where technology is growing rapidly in the healthcare, medication errors through e-prescribing is not getting any better. Medication errors are one of the most common types of medical errors and one of the most common and preventable causes of iatrogenic injuries (Fincham, 2009). Medication errors contribute to the morbidity and mortality of hospitalized patients. In the USA, medication errors have been found to be responsible for 7,000 patient injuries per year. Approximately one third of adverse drug events are associated with medication errors and are thus preventable (Lund & Kass, 2013).. Medication errors occur in 6.5 of 100 adult hospital admissions and 5 of 100 adult medication orders (Lund & Kass, 2013). When medication errors occur, pediatric patients have a much higher risk of death than adults do. Electronic prescribing in the ambulatory setting is chief among these unintended consequences as the potential for computer-generated prescriptions to introduce new errors (Lund & Kass, 2013). Furthermore, computerized generation of prescriptions is unlikely to prevent all errors made with manual paper prescriptions. For example, wrong patient or wrong diagnosis prescription errors may not be prevented by electronic prescribing systems. Errors associated with inpatient electronic prescribing have been addressed in the literature, but outpatient prescribing has been less well studied (Friend, 2011). Outpatient pharmacies have increasingly expressed...

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