With strong government backing and clear advantages to e-Prescribing, it’s no surprise electronically transmitted prescription use rose 8% in 2012. According to a Surescripts report, 44% of all prescriptions filled last year were electronic, and it’s only expected to keep growing.
As a decision-support tool, e-Prescriptions (eRx) give providers immediate access to an individual’s medication history and details of their prescription insurance coverage – all in order to make better informed choices about patient care.
But like most IT enhancements in healthcare, implementation and proper use aren’t always as simple as they’re intended to be. So here is a list of the 8 best practices to to help optimize your eRx workflow.
- 1. Familiarize your team with all of the features in your software, including prescription benefits, medication history and routing. Using prescription benefit information will ensure selected medications are covered by the patient’s drug coverage. Bi-directional prescription routing saves you time and money by automating prescription renewals, which reduces phone calls and faxes.
- 2. Avoid batching or queuing prescriptions before transmitting them to pharmacies electronically. This reduces the chance of a patient arriving at the pharmacy before the prescription is ready.
- 3. Adhere to DEA regulations and confirm your system’s capabilities for sending controlled substance prescriptions electronically.
- 4. Designate an eRx expert at your practice. The eRx expert will be focused on expediting the process and training coworkers less experienced in e-Prescribing procedures.
- 5. Encourage independent pharmacies in your area to register for e-Prescription services, especially those frequented by your patients.
- 6. Immediately report technical issues to your e-Prescribing software vendor. For example, if a patient shows up at the pharmacy and their prescription is not found, report this to the vendor so their technical team can identify the issue and retrain pharmacy staff if required.
- 7. Educate patients on e-Prescribing and the implementation process. Make sure they know it’s safer, more efficient and can save them money. According to a study by Decision Resources, a health care consulting firm in Massachusetts, 75% of doctors surveyed said they pay more attention to patient costs when they e-Prescribe. “Most eRx systems will alert a physician to the availability of a generic form of a drug they want to prescribe,” said Roy Moore, author of the study and product manager for Decision Resources’ U.S. Physician and Payer Forum. “Some physicians use the information to help make the best decisions, while others use the data as talking points to discuss care plans with patients.”
- 8. After implementing eRx software, remember to inform patients they need to come prepared for their next visit by bringing their preferred pharmacy contact information. Let them know they’ll need to call the pharmacy and not the practice for their renewals from now on.
With CMS providing incentive payments to eligible providers who demonstrate successful use of electronic prescribing, it’s a good idea to become as well acquainted with your software as possible.
Xavier E. Martinez is a content writer specializing in medical billing, medical coding, denial management, practice management system, revenue cycle management and business analytics. He has a strong background in print journalism and medical collections. Read his work on Power Your Practice, where this article was originally published, and the CareCloud Blog.