As per a study conducted by the New York Times in 2010, 37 percent of handwritten prescriptions have errors, whereas in another shocking study it came out that 88% of prescriptions were not even fully-legible. These statistics, thus highlight the requirement for a better prescription system. It should be able to underscore the level of risk posed by handwritten prescriptions to patients, who might receive the wrong drug or even a wrong dosage, which will greatly harm their health, and in some cases may even lead to death. With technological innovations transforming many industries around, the healthcare industry is not untouched, with it experiencing transformation in the form of automation of the process of medical prescriptions.
It was in the year 2009 that the US government went on to implement electronic prescribing (also known as e-Rx) and today e-prescription software has turned out to be a boon in making medications a lot more affordable and accessible to patients.
So, here, we will be exploring many benefits of e-Rx to various healthcare sections and find how it is improving the quality of healthcare:
- How does it help the pharmacies to sell more medicines?
- How does it benefit patients worldwide?
- How e-Rx improve medication adherence?
Let’s start with pharmacies and find out how it benefits them.
e-Rx Benefits to Pharmacies
Security from drugs & fraudulent – the e-Rx system keeps a record of the medical history of each patient in a robust database. It monitors the use of prescribed drugs, thus preventing them from reaching drug abusers & such other frauds. Elimination of handwritten prescriptions also curbs the prevalence of fake medical bills.
e-Rx for good business – the e-Rx solution can tremendously reduce the prescription and dispensing mistakes on both medical practices and pharma companies end. It further reduces the time needed for a prescription execution, as with all of it fully-documented and out there online, patients are saved from the worry of prescription slip loss, or missing out on refills. The e-Rx system notifies the patients and pharma firms about the forthcoming refill date, thus ensuring the patient’s compliance with prescribed medication.
Risks of handwritten prescriptions – It is not just an easy deal to decipher a doctor’s handwriting as, most often than not, it just difficult to read it and understand it. This way handwritten prescriptions are not always reliable and often pose the risk of being misinterpreted or misread, which may result in the wrong dosage taken by patients that may cause serious illness. With e-Rx, the risks of misspelling, bad handwriting can be mitigated as it offers a direct way of electronically connecting authorized doctors, pharmacists, nurses to any participating pharmacy.
e-Rx System Benefits to Patients
Promotes patient safety – the e-Rx system ensures patient safety in a number of ways. Like, in case a patient has forgotten mentioning a drug consumed by them, a newly-prescribed drug may lead to a hazardous drug interaction between the two. So, with medication records maintained in e-Rx software, pharmacists will be able to figure out the right medication for the patient, and the solution also educates patients about the right way to take medication. It also prevents patients from receiving the wrong drug or the wrong dosage.
Helps in cutting unnecessary costs – e-Prescription software can be used by the patient to find an inexpensive alternative to the prescribed medication. They can look for medicines having exact compositions but are available at a cheaper price. Several of healthcare institutions have pharmaceutical brands affiliated to them and tend to prescribe expensive medicine owing to the affiliation. So, with e-Rx patients can know about the other available options, and this way they can choose options suiting their pockets.
Helps patients adhere to their medication – e-Rx system allows the refill to be easily automated as per scheduled dates. Thus, scheduling is helpful in preventing patients from running out of their medication and helps them remain compliant with prescribed dosages and medications. This way, patients don’t require dropping off a copy of their prescriptions at pharmacy stores and it saves their effort which tends to be helpful for sick patients or those unable to visit these pharmacy stores by themselves.
Saves precious time – Earlier patients had to wait for a long time to get prescriptions from their physicians, however, with e-Rx things have become just so easy. In fact, now they can directly visit a local pharmacy and their prescriptions are already there. This also prevents delays occurred owing to poorly handwritten or misspelled prescriptions, where a pharmacy has no option but to check with the prescriber.
Provides educational material – e-Rx software is able to list medications taken by patients and offer reference information on a specific drug, like dos & don’t of consuming it, the warnings, compositions, etc. It allows patients to know about the hazards that come from mixing it with another drug. This way, the patient knows all about their medications & their interactions.
e-Rx Benefits with medication adherence
Puts focus on patient – A custom e-Rx solution removes the procedural steps that otherwise can cause errors or delays. They bring greater focus to proper adherence to medication usage. In the case of healthcare providers, they can integrate the custom e-Rx solutions with electronic medical records (EMRs), to enable tracking and monitoring patient compliance with medication over a long time.
Encourage patient communication with health providers – Well, in case of adherence, it depends on trust & understanding of the patients. As per a survey was done on patients, they like having discussions with healthcare providers while using e-prescriptions as compared to the paper prescriptions. Custom e-Rx solution provides a common base for discussion between provider, patient & pharmacist. Patients are given complete & accessible info about the prescriptions and they feel empowered to clear any queries they might be having. Even when patients pick up a newly-prescribed medication, pharmacists can have a look and discuss details with the patient about their prescription. Prescribers, on their part, can also check formulations and see drug interactions, thus by having info instantly available, it paves way for meaningful discussions.
Boost patient prescription pickup – e-Rx software is capable of increasing the rate at which prescriptions are picked up. This can significantly improve adherence: Patients can promptly start taking medication. As per a survey, with paper prescriptions, the patient tends to act as a messenger as they feel they are simply carrying the order to the pharmacy and thus can be discouraged from expressing queries regarding the prescription. However, with e-Rx patients being more-in-charge, they have more comprehensive information, so it gets easier for them to know if cheaper generic drugs are available or low-cost alternatives.
Patients find e-Rx a lot more convenient – As per the studies, patients are highly impressed with the convenience offered by e-prescription software. Around 80% of patients indicated their liking for e-prescriptions and this favorable attitude is certain to make them more inclined to comply with their medications.
With e-Rx, they can
- Information about medication is more convenient and accessible
- Readily collect them upon visiting their pharmacy, while have to wait in case of paper slips
- Nothing to lose or misplace
- Automatically Transmitted
These amazing benefits of electronic prescription software clearly state that e-Rx software is a must-have for every healthcare institution, as it assists the patients, pharmacists, and providers in a big way. However, for a robust? e-Ra software development, the selection of a healthcare software development company is vital. Thus, you must hire an experienced healthcare IT solution provider company.