Prescription Software

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Current ePrescribing systems range from basic formulary- and prescription-producing software to highly sophisticated systems that are integrated with electronic health records (EHR). Neither is the norm, however, as resistance to implementation of electronic systems, and lack of incentives to do so, prevent these systems from being utilized to their fullest capacity.

Personal digital assistants (PDA) provide easy, stand alone access to the benefits provided by this software, as do certain PC platforms. ePrescribing remains in its infancy, however, with few healthcare institutions and workers taking advantage of the many services that would improve medical delivery to patients and drastically reduce errors. Where electronic systems are used, services are immediately improved.

User-Friendly Devices

In order to encourage the use of prescription software, it should be user-friendly, not just for the specific prescription writer, but for all office staff involved in handling relevant tasks. Healthcare workers probably do not feel they have a lot of time to put into mastering a new system, so ease-of-use is important, perhaps critical, to getting electronic systems into practitioners' offices. Any staff whose duties include transmitting prescriptions, handling renewals, or dealing with the patient's medical history, should be able to operate the enabling software and electronic devices.

There are a variety of these devices available, and the technology is changing to bring new advances as ePrescribing is incorporated into the healthcare system. PDAs, desktop computers, tablets, and other instruments provide access to information about formularies, electronic health records (EHR), and other medical data. Such efficiency promotes safety, saves time all around, and is a major component in error-free medical services.

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