Paper prescriptions served a good purpose for many years. But providers are now taking advantage of the latest advances in electronic prescribing technology to improve their clinical workflow and to offer patients a modern convenience that they will appreciate and remember when making that next appointment. Not to mention that e-Prescribing helps clinicians easily meet a MIPS measure under the MACRA Quality Payment Program.
Dr. Tom Giannulli, M.D., M.S. and Chief Medical Information Officer at Kareo, shares some of the ways e-prescribing supports providers in improving patient care and overall patient experience. When you start with electronic prescribing, he says, you should see in immediate value. Let’s take a look at some of those benefits:
1. Reduces Medication Errors
Healthcare providers are known for illegible handwriting, but when the patient can’t read the instructions, or the pharmacist mistakes the prescription for a similar drug, this can result in crucial, sometimes even fatal, medication errors.
High-quality care means taking any measure to ensure patient safety through prescription accuracy. Dr. Giannulli adds that, “Thoughtfully crafted e-Prescribing technology can help reduce errors and redundancies. For instance, the ability to view all of your patient information, including medication history, without switching screens, and even on your mobile device, enables you to seamlessly deliver high-quality care.”
2. Automated Support
As a provider at an independent practice, your attention is pulled in many different directions every day. Automated features in e-prescribing tools can reduce administrative tasks and provide you with more time to focus on what’s important—your patients. The ability to track medications and know whether prescriptions were picked up lets providers know if patients are following through with their prescribed treatment.
Other helpful e-prescribe features include: :
- The ability to view the patient chart and history to maintain an overarching view of your patient’s needs
- Reminders to fill out the dose, route, strength and frequency to help ensure the prescription is complete
- Increased visibility in the software of drug interactions and potential side effects help providers determine if an alternative drug is necessary and can reduce readmissions from adverse drug reactions (ADR)
- Educational information to share with your patient during the prescription process
Dr. Giannulli goes on to add that, “Physicians working in primary care usually work with a broad number of medications. These features can help inform the physician about the drugs, therapeutically appropriate alternatives and how to use them properly. This is especially useful if it’s their first or second time prescribing the drug.”
3. Saves Money
e-Prescribing can save money for the patient and your practice. What’s more, increased medication compliance for chronic diseases can help to reduce costs in the healthcare system overall and potentially reduce, or avoid, costly health complications.
Your practice can develop a more efficient workflow to reduce administrative duties and save money by:
- Refilling multiple medications in a single order
- Saving time on refill requests without having to manually enter, call or fax
- Providing proxy rights to others who can view and complete the refill request
- Discovering therapeutically appropriate, less expensive alternatives
“In Kareo, there’s a feature on the screen which allows you to see if your patient will qualify for a discount on their medication,” explains Dr. Giannulli. “Communicating this could result in a huge savings for the patient.”
4. Confirms Eligibility
When e-prescribing technology lets providers see what other doctors are prescribing and view your patient’s medication history, they’re better equipped to help reduce fraud and abuse from duplicate prescriptions or utilize someone else’s prescription. The technology should include easy insurance verification to help your meet regulatory compliance. With easy access to coverage information, providers can determine early on if there is a problem in the fulfillment process. The drug can be switched out and a different one can be chosen based on the eligibility of the patient.
“Kareo shows you selected drugs on the formulary for the payer, and you can talk to the patient about costs and alternatives,” says Dr. Giannulli. “You can ensure eligibility and that you’re getting the right prescription that’s covered for the patient.”
The benefits e-prescribing offers you and your patients can help improve your patient education, reducing overall healthcare costs, while assisting you in providing quality patient care.
“Patients are now expecting the convenience,” adds Dr. Guianulli. “With e-prescribing, often the drug is ready and waiting for them when they get to the pharmacy, so there is no wait in line. It’s a better experience.”
To learn more about how e-prescribing features in the Kareo Clinical EHR can benefit your practice: