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The Basics of ePrescribing in 2023


Welcome to 2023! It’s time to start fresh, invest in learning, gain new perspectives, and solidify business goals and the path to achieving them.

The healthcare technology landscape continues to evolve, making it hard to keep up. It can feel overwhelming even when you try to isolate specific “jobs to be done” and the tools to get you there. That’s why it’s important to get back to the basics.

Let’s sort through some high-level information regarding ePrescribing and its different components. No need for time-consuming internet searches. Here is your ePrescribing 101 guide.

What is ePrescribing?

The term ePrescribing has become a popular buzzword in the healthcare industry, but what exactly does it mean? To put it simply, electronic prescribing, or ePrescribing, is a method of prescription transaction that allows prescribers to write and send prescriptions to pharmacies electronically instead of writing, phoning in, or faxing them. It ultimately replaces the costly paper prescription pad and tamper-proof printing paper from a provider’s office for good.

Here are a few of its many capabilities:

  • NewRx: Route new prescriptions directly to the patient’s pharmacy of choice, saving them a “drop off” trip.
  • Rx Refills: Receive prescription renewal requests electronically, communicate directly with the pharmacy, and eliminate back-and-forth communication via fax machine while better protecting patient privacy.
  • Medication History: View aggregated medication history data from pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) upon receipt of patient consent. This information helps providers establish smarter treatment plans.
  • Real-Time Prescription Benefit: Eligibility, benefits, and formulary information are at a prescriber’s fingertips at the time of prescribing. This enables prescribers to select affordable, on-formulary medications covered by the patient’s drug benefit.
  • Electronic Prior Authorization: Medications are flagged when prior authorization is required from the payer or PBM allowing the prescriber to quickly follow a digital workflow for approval or select a therapeutic alternative that doesn’t require a PA.
  • Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS): Ensures all EPCS certifications and third-party audit documentation as required by the DEA is met before a prescription can be transmitted.

What are the clinical benefits?

ePrescribing is more than the ability to send prescriptions electronically to pharmacies. It can also increase the quality of care delivered in a number of ways:

  • Ensures that any drug-drug and drug-allergy interactions based on a patient’s medication history are found and reported to the prescriber before the prescription order is completed
  • Increases patient medication pick-up adherence because the prescription is guaranteed to arrive at the pharmacy rather than relying on the patient to keep track of their paper script
  • Curbs prescription drug abuse and increases safety because the patient doesn’t have access to alter dispense quantities on their paper prescription or try to duplicate it with stolen prescription pads
  • Requires the prescriber to provide enough specific information for the pharmacist to fill the prescription, including the name of the drug, the dosage, its physical form, days’ supply, and the prescriber’s instructions

What are the Operational benefits?

We can all agree that time is money. Practice management is always looking for workflow efficiencies and ways to innovate processes. ePrescribing can help:

  • Eliminates the time, effort, and safety risks associated with trying to understand the prescriber’s handwriting and misinterpreting the script.
  • Drives down healthcare costs and improves patient satisfaction by getting medications to patients promptly, conveniently, and securely at the patient’s pharmacy of choice.
  • Lowers costs associated with purchasing expensive paper prescription pads and the time and resources spent on redundant administrative tasks.
  • Simplifies clinical workflows and allows prescribers to do what they do best and spend more time with their patients.

Who can ePrescribe?

State or provincial legislation governs who can write a prescription. Under these rulings, any licensed physician, dentist, nurse practitioner, etc. allowed to write prescriptions by hand can also prescribe electronically.

Many ePrescribing solutions also allow the application of proxy users, such as nurses, medical assistants, or office staff. While they cannot legally send a prescription to a pharmacy, they can access the ePrescribing solution and fill in all required fields for a prescriber to approve and send.

What pharmacies allow ePrescribing?

All 50 states and the District of Columbia allow the ePrescribing of controlled and non-controlled substances, and more than 90% of pharmacies can receive ePrescriptions. Of course, this includes the larger retail pharmacy chains such as CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and other grocery chains, also mail-order pharmacies.

ePrescribing software has many advantages that save time, improve patient safety, and provide better tracking to monitor prescribing behavior. It’s time you added it to your practice management tools, so you don’t get left behind.

To get started, connect with the Open Dental Support Team and ask about DoseSpot. We would be honored to serve you.

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