How Does E-Prescribing Work?
By using a computer or handheld device with e-prescribing software, prescribers can electronically:
- Access Patient Prescription Benefit Information
- Access Patient Medication History
- Route Prescriptions to Patient's Pharmacy
E-prescribing occurs when a prescriber uses a computer or handheld device with software that enables a prescriber to:
- Electronically Access That Patient's Prescription Benefit: Electronically accessing a patient's prescription benefit information - both formulary and eligibility - allows prescribers to choose medications that are on formulary and are covered by the patient's drug benefit. Prescribers can also choose lower-cost alternatives such as generic drugs. Dispensing pharmacies are less likely to receive prescriptions that require changes based on the patient's drug benefit, which, in turn, reduces unnecessary phone calls from pharmacy staff to physician practices regarding drug coverage.
- With a Patient's Consent, Electronically Access that Patient's Medication History: Electronically accessing a patient's medication history allows prescribers to receive critically important information on their patients' current and past prescriptions and to become better informed about potential medication issues with their patients (e.g., catching potentially harmful drug-to-drug and drug-allergy interactions). Prescribers can use this information to improve safety and quality. And - by understanding the cycle of dispensing related to a prescription - prescribers can gain insight into a patient's medication adherence.
- Electronically Route the Prescription to the Patient's Choice of Pharmacy: Exchanging prescription information electronically between prescribers and pharmacies improves the accuracy of the prescribing process and saves time. Time savings primarily result from reduced pharmacy phone calls and faxes related to prescription renewal authorizations as well as from a reduced need for pharmacy staff to key in prescription data.