- The ONC has posted a new guide online designed to walk physicians and providers step-by-step through the process of using electronic prescriptions for their patients. The guide's debut comes not even two months after the site posted a report on the growth of electronic prescriptions for controlled substances.
- The guide spells out the steps of the process, including identifying the patient; reviewing the existing patient data; selecting a drug from a menu in the EHR; entering the information for the pharmacy; reviewing advisories and alerts; choosing a pharmacy; authorizing and signing the prescription; and finally, reviewing expectations with patients, monitoring the scrip logs and managing electronic renewal requests.
- The guide also reminds visitors that 90% of the pharmacies in the US are equipped to manage e-scrips—though physicians are behind, with barely 70% of physicians availing themselves of the tool.
While the guide is designed to make it easier for physicians to use e-prescriptions, it's also a pretty passionate selling tool on the concept.
"Some of these changes can result in decreased pharmacy callbacks to the practice, increased patient satisfaction, and improved e-prescribing productivity," the guide notes. "Recommendations to create unambiguous prescriptions with standardized information enables effective clinical decision support and enhanced patient safety.”
Medicare reports that it spent $25 million on fraudulent refills in 2009, and the ONC believes that e-prescriptions can help prevent much of that waste—and drug abuse. This isn't a federal push that's going to taper off any time soon.