E-Prescribing, as it is widely known, is the use of an electronic data entry system to create a prescription for patients. The e-prescribing technology has been greatly encouraged by the Federal Government through its Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA). MIPPA provides incentives to physicians who practice e-prescribing and has paved way for mass adoption of the technology all over the country.
E-prescribing is not just about writing prescriptions online. It is a tool for practitioners to keep track of their patient’s records, detect potentially harmful drugs and completely avoid medication errors at all levels. The technology involves use of a e-prescription software or a full EMR system which utilizes Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) facility to transfer the prescription data to online pharmacies of the patients. So, no mailing or faxing of hand-written medications are involved.
Some of the other reasons why e-prescribing is a boon to online pharmacies.
No more of physician’s scrawls: Often a physician is ridiculed for his “scrawl” or illegible handwriting. There are many chances of you, the patient or the pharmacy, mis-reading the prescription in terms of dosage, medications and consumption schedule. This can become a serious medication error if you or the pharmacy fail to check with the physician on what he means by his illegible handwriting. With a decade over in the 21st century, relying on the physician’s scrawl to affect your health is absurd. E-prescribing can eliminate all such errors caused due to illegibility. Online pharmacies are spared of medication errors in the case of e-prescribing of medications.
No more of faxing or calling pharmacies: You can completely get rid of the tough job of contacting and faxing your prescriptions to your online pharmacies. The prescriptions will be sent from the doctor’s office through the EDI system installed by the doctor. This can save you time as you need not bother about your fax reaching the pharmacy. You also save money spent for faxing if you do not have a fax machine at your home.
Quick dispatch of drugs: With the e-prescribing system, online drugstores can speed up the delivery of drugs to their customers. Since there is no waiting for prescriptions to arrive via fax or mail, pharmacies can rapidly deliver the medications, helping patients in times of crisis and also enhancing their organizational process.
Complete safety. No risk of fraud: E-prescribing eliminates all possible risks of fraud. The customer cannot tamper with the prescriptions suggested by the doctor, neither can he create fake prescriptions of his own. So, the online pharmacy is free from liability of any risk that may arise due to delivery of prescription medications without proper medical guidance.
Automation of refill: Though refill of prescription drugs is already automated in online pharmacies, an e-prescribing system makes it all the more easier. Since the pharmacies have the completed Electronic Medical Records (EMR) with regard to prescriptions to the patient, they do not fail to remind him or her when it is time to refill prescription medications.
It is estimated that about 7000 deaths occur in the U.S. every year due to wrong prescriptions or medication errors. With e-prescribing system, all such errors can be avoided, ensuring patient safety and reducing liabilities of errors to doctors and online pharmacies.