The U.S. and state Attorneys General are aggressively pursuing cases against practitioners, pharmacies, and pharmaceutical companies for their alleged role in contributing to the opioid crisis. Just do a quick search on the Associated Press news feed and you’ll see story after story detailing the seriousness of the issue and the legal quest for accountability.1,2,3
Technology and new laws are aiding doctors like you in your continual quest to provide the best care possible to your patients. We’ll focus on one key component of this technology: electronic prescribing. Commonly known as e-Prescribing, this more-secure digital method replaces traditional pad and pen, phone and fax prescriptions.
More than half the states across the country implemented new laws or have a future mandate in place requiring Electronic Prescribing for Controlled Substances (EPCS). Mandatory e-Prescribing will likely continue to gain traction. Even in states without e-Prescribing laws, doctors are switching to protect patients and their practice.
What exactly is electronic prescribing?
e-Prescribing simply refers to special software used to create and securely send a prescription to the pharmacy. This can be a prescription for ANY medication, including controlled substances. Once the prescription is created, the doctor reviews, signs and sends it to the pharmacy using a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
The clinical workflow is similar; the only differences you’ll notice will make your work easier. You can electronically prescribe from any location using any computer or device, and e-Prescribing combines steps into one streamlined process, saving time. And the level of security and compliance far outweighs traditional methods, better protecting patients and your practice.
e-Prescribing provides greater safety and efficiency.
e-Prescribing software provides quick access to critical information. For example, it often provides access to patient prescription records dispensed at any U.S. pharmacy, dating as far back as five years. There’s also direct access to the state Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP), which means you’re instantly shown a patient’s controlled substances prescription history. With all this information, you know exactly what kind of meds and controlled substances have been prescribed and how often prescriptions were filled. This means it can greatly help prevent doctors and dentists from unknowingly falling victim to “doctor shopping”.
Couple that comprehensive prescription background information with direct access to a built-in drug information directory like Lexicomp, and you have robust history, drug dosing and contraindication information in one place, right in front of you. Within minutes you’re able to make informed decisions on whether the patient should even be prescribed an opioid or other med; and if so, how much medication. You can see the layers of protection built into every step of this process.
It’s important to note e-Prescribing offers additional improvements to your clinical workflow. E-prescribing software may interface or integrate with your current practice management system. If so, patient data will auto populate, reducing errors and saving time from duplicative data entry.
e-Prescribing protects practices.
As you likely know or may have experienced, doctors can fall victim to a stolen prescription pad or a falsely edited prescription. This kind of misuse is especially disturbing.
E-Prescribing removes those vulnerabilities. There are no prescribing resources accessible to patients—either in your office or in their hands—on the way to the pharmacy. Every prescription made through your e-Prescribing software is kept safely out of reach from people with mal-intent.
An added and critical layer of security is tied to e-Prescribing opioids and other controlled substances. You’ll use two quick verification forms to prove you are indeed the prescribing doctor. These unique authentication tools are only accessible to the prescriber, preventing someone from impersonating you and illegally writing scripts for controlled substances.
Best Practices=The Best Practice
Whether required by law or as a facet of developing best practices, e-Prescribing is a powerful intervention for combatting the opioid epidemic, which has catalyzed technological development that allows doctors to prescribe with greater accuracy, safety, and efficiency.
iCoreConnect, a TDA Perks Partner, develops cloud-based technologies to improve and protect your practice. TDA members receive special discount pricing on iCoreRx e-Prescribing service. Book a demo or call 888.810.7706.