It comes as no surprise that electronic prescription writing is on the rise. Almost gone are the days when deciphering the scrawl on a physician’s prescription required the skills of a codebreaker. It’s now estimated that 90% of pharmacies and over 70% of physicians utilize electronic prescriptions systems.
Like anything involving database management, it’s the case of garbage in, garbage out. The benefits reaped from electronic prescription systems are commensurate with the accuracy of the information put in and the degree that they are used.
The following tips will help medical service providers make the most out of electronic prescription systems.
Verify Patient Information and Pharmacy
Physicians are wise to put a process or policy in place to ensure all patient information and their pharmacy is correct and verified. Also, have the patient provide a back-up pharmacy in the event the primary can’t fill the prescription.
Utilize Prescription History to Prevent Doctor Shopping
In September of 2017, the State of Texas announced the launch of a new database to heighten its battle against doctor shopping, the fraudulent practice for obtaining multiple controlled substance prescriptions. Previously, their process was paper driven, so there was a large lag time between prescription fulfillment and when that information was entered into their system. If doctors don’t utilize prescription history, the state’s database will be less effective.
Most e-prescription systems provide doctors with regular alerts, but the alert feature won’t work unless it’s turned on. The clinical alerts are designed to help reduce adverse drug reactions and prescription errors.
Inform Patients about your Electronic Prescription System
Provide patients with a handout that explains the benefits of your e-prescription system. If they ever push back on the amount of information you’re requesting, inform them that the e-prescription system will provide:
- faster availability of prescriptions,
- better insurance validation, including costs of the prescription(s),
- better tracking of prescription history, and, as a result,
- the best level of care possible.
Bottom line: use your resources. And one of the best resources introduced to the medical profession in years is the electronic prescription system.
If you have questions about best practices for electronic health records, electronic prescription systems, or other health law matters, contact Larry “Max” Maxwell. He’s board-certified and one of the industry’s most experienced and reputable health law attorneys.