Twenty to thirty percent of prescriptions are never filled according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Of the prescriptions initially filled, adherence drops dramatically at the six month mark. Patients often cite cost as the number one reason they stop taking prescribed medications.
Electronic prescribing (E-Prescribing) helps providers and patients with medication adherence in many ways. From automatic prescription renewals for patients to making it easier for providers to have discussions about drug costs that reduce surprises at the pharmacy window, E-Prescribing is making a big impact on quality care.
In a recent #KareoChat (first and third Thursdays at 9 a.m. Pacific), participants came together with host Dr. Tom Giannulli (@drtom_kareo), to discuss ways E-Prescribing improves quality care.
Let’s dive into the discussion.
Topic 1: What is the State of E-Prescribing in the United States?
A great question to start the discussion as E-Prescribing is a meaningful use requirement.
Participants gave feedback from both the provider and patient perspective:
77 percent of all scripts are run electronically as of 2017— Dr. Tom Giannulli (@drtom_kareo) June 7, 2018
90 percent of non-controlled and 22 percent of controlled - that is impressive #kareochat— Dr. Tom Giannulli (@drtom_kareo) June 7, 2018
Topic 2: What Can E-Prescribing Do to Improve Outcomes and Reduce Costs Today (Triple Aim)?
As the chatters point out, when patients know they can get their medicine quickly, prescription pick-up and medication adherence rates increase.
A2. Outcomes are improved when the patient picks up their meds quickly because they know it's already ready and waiting for them at the pharmacy. No, "I'll go when I have the time." #kareochat— Annie Beth Donahue (@anniebdonahue) June 7, 2018
Med compliance is a big factor in costs and outcome - meds delivered to door can help compliance #kareochat— Dr. Tom Giannulli (@drtom_kareo) June 7, 2018
Topic 3: How Does E-Prescribing Help Engage Patients in Their Care?
From being able to discuss medication choices to making prescription refill requests simple, E-Prescribing is leading the way for patients to play a big part in their own care.
A3. Our pediatrician has used the system to identify and discuss cheaper alternatives with us while we sat in the exam room, giving us control over the choice. #kareochat— Annie Beth Donahue (@anniebdonahue) June 7, 2018
Engagement: Pts can request refills on patient portals, and can become more self directed in their care #kareochat— Dr. Tom Giannulli (@drtom_kareo) June 7, 2018
Topic 4: What are Advantages of E-Prescribing to Providers?
Next, our chatters discussed E-Prescribing from a providers point of view to explore the advantages it has over the traditional pen and paper method.
Here are a few of the responses:
Providers can check for overlapping scripts, helping reduce the abuse of prescription drugs. Not to mention the clarification it offers when compared to handwritten scripts. I think we can all agree that docs don't always have the most legible handwriting! #KareoChat— Kandidly Katie (@KandidlyKatie) June 7, 2018
Engagement: Pts can also signup for daily medication notifications to reduce missed doses and refill reminders if missed refills #kareochat— Dr. Tom Giannulli (@drtom_kareo) June 7, 2018
Let's do the math. Hand written scripts x scripts per pt x number of pts Multiplied by bad handwriting ... Yea, e-prescribing seems like a very good idea! #KareoChat— Janet M. Kennedy (@GetSocialHealth) June 7, 2018
Topic 5: How Will E-Prescribing Evolve in the Next 5 Years (Hint: AI)?
For the final question, the participants got to be medical futurists for a moment and share their thoughts about the future of E-Prescribing and AI! From trains in children’s hospitals to drones delivering medications, the future of E-Prescribing is just getting started!
Our childrens hospital delivers meds to the different floors with a little train named "Tug." He's a really cute robot that can electronically operate the elevators and security doors while navigating the hospital. #kareochat— Annie Beth Donahue (@anniebdonahue) June 7, 2018
eprescribing is going to turn into e-delivery soon - drones with drugs at your door #kareochat— Dr. Tom Giannulli (@drtom_kareo) June 7, 2018
It's easy to see that the future is bright for E-Prescribing and will only get better as time goes on. Perhaps in a few years, drones will deliver your medications right to your doorstep!