The benefits of e-prescribing

The benefits of e-prescribing

Mike Jordan, MD, of East Lake Pediatrics, P.A. in Trinity, Fla., understands that when a child is sick parents don't want to wait for their medication to be filled or have to make more than one trip to the pharmacy. That's why Jordan has been using an e-prescribing system from the very first day his practice opened. East Lake Pediatrics purchased the e-prescribing system from its EHR vendor, Vitera Healthcare Solutions.

Thinking back to 2004, Jordan said there were “several hiccups” with the new system -- but most were because the practice was an early adopter. “The technology was so new at the time that some pharmacies didn't even accept electronic prescriptions,” he told PhysBizTech.

Now an integral part of the practice, the e-prescribing system not only cuts down on wait times for patients, but improves efficiency for the physicians as well. “I can just pick a drug from a diagnosis, and I don’t have to stop and write it,” explained Jordan. The system also cuts down on phone calls from the pharmacy about handwriting, and saves time during patient interactions. When patients call in with questions, nurses can quickly access complete medication information -- including how long the patient should be taking it. “This is very convenient for families and staff,” said Jordan. “The refills are very easy,” he added. “[The refill] pops up as a task on the system,” and gives doctors a list of choices such as authorizing the refill or having the patient come into the office. “With a click of a button you are done,” Jordan noted.

Jordan said e-prescribing can also help prevent medication errors from occurring because the system is linked to the patient's EHR. If a patient has an allergy to the medication or a cross-reaction could occur, it pops up on the screen, explained Jordan, and he has to acknowledge it. The system also prevents dosing errors by providing access to integrated dose calculators, which he described as “very helpful in pediatrics.” When there is confusion about dosing or a question from the pharmacist, Jordan said it can usually be resolved even before the patient leaves the office.

Overall, having an e-prescribing system “streamlines” the prescription process, according to Jordan. “I can do [e-prescribing] from my phone, or now Vitera has an iPad app or I can log in remotely to send prescriptions."