e-prescribing improves prescription-filling process
COLUMBUS – E-prescribing, or electronic prescribing, offers patients convenience, improves the process of filling prescriptions and improves patient safety, the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians says.
When a physician electronically prescribes a prescription, it is entered into his or her computer and immediately is sent directly to the patient’s pharmacy. There is no waiting time or handwriting for the pharmacist to interpret.
The significant benefit to the patient is the convenience of eliminating the extra trip to the pharmacy to drop off the prescription.
“I find that e-prescribing allows patients to often have their prescriptions filled and waiting for them when they reach the pharmacy. However, the best thing about electronic prescribing is its ability to improve patient safety,” said Ryan Kauffman, M.D., a family physician in Bellefontaine, Ohio.
“In a typical day, I can write around 100 prescriptions; no matter how much I try to write legibly, there are times that some scripts may be to difficult to read and there is the opportunity for misinterpretation,” Dr. Kauffman said. “With electronic prescribing, a printed version goes directly to the pharmacist and there is never a need to interpret.
“Electronic prescribing also allows refills to be processed more quickly,” he said.
E-prescribing is paperless and involves two-way, computer-to-computer connection. There are no papers or faxes involved. This makes it secure, whereas paper prescriptions have the potential to be stolen, copied, forged or manipulated.
By eliminating handwritten and faxed prescriptions, e-prescribing reduces the risk of medication errors and provides physicians with real-time electronic functions that automatically check for possible drug interactions. This electronic capacity provides access to a patient’s medication history.
When prescribing a medication to a patient, a physician is able to reference that patient’s medication history through the information in the computer from the pharmacy. This assists the physician in checking for any potentially harmful drug interactions.