Fast Prescriptions

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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ePrescribing is safer and faster than the present cumbersome system, even though the current system is accepted because it is the norm. Once consumers become aware of the alternative, however, they indicate interest in electronic prescribing. In a survey of consumers, 70 percent said they would be interested in using some or all aspects of electronic personal health records. Asked about email, 75 percent stated they would want to email their doctors.

Fast, Easy Prescriptions

Companies that provide electronic prescription services enable physicians to write prescriptions in five seconds. This is not only fast, but it is backed by electronic formularies, patient records, and a Drug Utilization Review (DUR) that looks for drug/food interactions. All information regarding formularies and medications are patient-specific, so the physician has instant access to critical background material.

At this point, the physician has flexible options. The prescription can either be printed in the office using computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), or tablets, or the prescription can be electronically transmitted to the pharmacy the patient prefers. This cuts down on the wait time for the patient, who may be able to pick up the prescription upon arrival at the pharmacy.

Refills and renewals are equally fast because the pharmacist and physician can communicate via their electronic systems. If there are any changes requested, the pharmacist can relay this request to the physician, who can reply instantly. ePrescribing is a time-saver for all parties involved in the transaction, and yet the prescription is based on much better information than is available to a clinician who uses the present system of handwriting a prescription.

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