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Why You Absolutely Need ePrescription

 
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Over the past few decades, technology has truly revolutionized the way we live our daily lives. In certain sectors, however, things have continued much as usual. Many health care systems have not been updated to reflect the latest advances in medical technology. Basic misconceptions about electronic health records (EHRs) as well as unwillingness to change have caused many health care systems to stagnate. Keeping up with the advances in EHR systems is just as important as continuing education courses in a given field of medicine. Adopting ePrescriptions is just one way that health care professionals can use technology to better serve their patients.

Why is an ePrescription System Important?

According to a 2006 report from the Institute of Medicine, millions of people each year experience adverse drug effects from prescription medications. An estimated 1.5 million of these adverse drug effects are preventable. Errors can occur at several steps in the prescription process -- prescribing the drug, dispensing it at a pharmacy, administering the drug, and monitoring its impact on the patient. Most frequently, preventable errors occur during the prescribing and administration phases of this process.

Although handwritten prescriptions used to be the norm, they often lead to errors. Problems with legibility or interpretation of the prescription may cause the patient to receive an inaccurate dose, the wrong drug, or incorrect instructions on how to take the prescription. An eRx program reduces these errors by automating the prescription process.

What Does an Electronic Prescription Program Do?
In an electronic prescription system, the health care provider no longer writes a prescription by hand, nor does someone fax documentation to the pharmacy. Instead, prescriptions are entered into an automated electronic system. This secure data-entry process triggers transmission of the prescription to the intended pharmacy. The entire process of ePrescribing occurs over a secure, private, and closed network that allows information to remain confidential. Electronic prescription programs comply with HIPAA regulations about patient privacy.

What are the Benefits of Electronic Prescriptions?

There are numerous benefits to adopting an electronic prescription system.

  • Most eRx systems are easy to learn and user-friendly. Although there is a misconception that electronic prescribing programs are complicated, they reduce errors and miscommunication, resulting in a more efficient system.

  • No more prescription errors. In many cases, adverse drug effects occur because two contraindicated medications are prescribed. Electronic prescription programs allow physicians to see a patient’s current and past prescriptions. The software also includes information about a pateitn's age, sex, body weight, and previous reactions to medications. The system alerts the prescriber if two contraindicated medications are prescribed, reducing errors. An electronic prescription system can also ensure that patients receive the appropriate dose of prescription medications.

  • Patients appreciate the ease of ePrescriptions. Non-electronic prescription systems often place an unnecessary burden on the patient, who must remember to bring a prescription to the pharmacy to get it filled. When a doctor decides to ePrescribe, the patient does not have to worry about losing the prescription or forgetting to drop it off at the pharmacy. Ultimately, this improves medication adherence and increases the likelihood that the patient will receive quality medical care.

  • An electronic prescription system reduces health care costs. Physicians can see which drugs are “on formulary,” allowing them to prescribe medications covered by a patient’s insurance. They can also electronically approve refills, reducing unnecessary patient visits and increasing administrative efficiency.

With the rising costs of health care and errors associated with adverse drug effects, eRx programs represent a cost-effective, streamlined way to improve patient care. Health care professionals simply cannot afford to wait to adopt this essential technology.

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RevenueXL Inc. provides best value comprehensive solutions to medical practices. Our solutions include affordable Electronic Medical Records Software (a.k.a. EMR or EHR Software), Patient Portal, and Practice Management or Medical Billing software and revenue cycle services including medical billing, medical coding, coding audits and account receivables management services. RevenueXL offers a free consultation session to review your current challenges and answer open questions revolving around EMR and revenue cycle.

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Could Legislative Change Improve e-Prescribing and Simplify 'Prior Authorization'?

 
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One of the primary benefits behind implementing electronic medical records is the way EMR Certified EMRsystems make the healthcare industry more efficient.  That includes office workflow, treatment, diagnosis, scheduling, billing and even prescriptions. 

The widespread initiative to improve EMR use comes at the perfect time where many physicians and hospital administrators are pushing to reduce overhead and cut budgets.  One of the best ways to reduce costs throughout the health care industry comes in the additional feature of e-prescribing available with electronic medical records.

Insurance Tug of War

For years, physicians have had to deal with prior authorization on medications, essentially forcing clinics and physicians to go through the lengthy process of getting authorization for a treatment or medication before it can be given to the patient and billed.  When you consider that the healthcare industry is already weighed down with paper charting and never-ending "to-do" lists, 'prior authorization' adds time wasting requirements to already over-burdened schedules.

When you consider there are more than three billion prescriptions written in the United States each year, it's obvious why we need a more efficient system.  Electronic medical records fitted with e-prescribing functionality not only reduce errors due to illegible handwriting, but the checks and balances built in to the software greatly reduce the likelihood of a harmful drug interaction.

Time is one of the most important factors with prior authorization.  Some patients have to wait days for approval while they go without a critical medication.  If authorization is denied, the appeal process can take weeks (even months).

Electronic prescribing with EMR systems opens new doors that can help eliminate many of the barriers that prior authorization has put into place in the healthcare industry.

The main issue with prior authorization is that not only must it be done manually, but each insurance provider has its own system for authorization and submission, and its own process for approval.  With advancements in technology and e-prescribing, officials are seeking a way to simplify the process - mainly for the good of the patient but also to reduce the workload on physicians.

More Efficient e-Prescribing Through Uniform Approval

The Maryland Health Care Commission is continuing to lay out plans that would change prior authorization, using a unified and standardized e-prescribing system for filing and processing prior authorization requests.  No more printing, faxing or constant follow-up calls with physicians chasing calls between insurance offices and pharmacies on behalf of the patient.

This system, if it takes and spreads across to other regions in the United States, could greatly impact quality of care and healthcare costs - in a positive way.  If this type of electronic prior authorization is able to integrate with electronic health records and practice management software, physicians could finally give patients faster access to medical services, reduce their operational costs within the clinical environment and ultimately spend a lot more time with individual patients.

Insurance companies aren't expected to improve the system or work together to create a simple process.  That's why Senator John Astle and Shawn Tarrant are introducing legislation that will empower the state to streamline the process of prior authorization, enforcing guidelines they develop that are intended to reduce strain and burden on the healthcare system.

Advances in electronic medical records that include rapid electronic authorization along with e-prescribing have the potential to improve widespread acceptance and implementation of EMR software, to improve efficiency, reduce health care costs and help patients overcome some of the greatest barriers to palliative care and medications.

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RevenueXL Inc. provides best value comprehensive solutions to medical practices. Our solutions include affordable Electronic Medical Records Software (a.k.a. EMR or EHR Software), Patient Portal, and Practice Management or Medical Billing software and revenue cycle services including medical billing, medical coding, coding audits and account receivables management services. RevenueXL offers a free consultation session to review your current challenges and answer open questions revolving around EMR and revenue cycle.

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15,700 Reasons for ePrescribing with EMR Software in Your Practice

 
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Did you know that a Physician can save $15,700 per year by using the ePrescribing feature of a good EMR Software?  Sound too good to be true?  Well it is, and it doesn’t cost you any more time or money when you select the right EMR Software with an up to date and fully integrated ePrescribing function that virtually does it all on automatic pilot while you’re examining your patients.    

In case you didn’t get a chance to read the Article in Doctor’s Digest on ePrescribing in their July-August 2008 Issue, that certainly caught my attention, entitled: “The Real Cost of Paper-based Prescriptions"

Electronic Medical Records"Physicians may balk at making the switch [to ePrescribing] because they don't believe a computerized system can be as fast as the time-honored process of scratching out a drug order on a pad of paper...The MGMA (Medical Group Management Association) says that the typical practice wastes $15,700 per physician each year on prescription-related doctor and staff time...The savings, ePrescribing advocates say, come from reduced callbacks from pharmacies seeking clarification on handwriting or dosage, or for formulary issues."

Considering the tight fix our economy is in today, this huge savings for using e-Rx can go a long way to help Physicians who are generally finding it hard to accept the cost of Transitioning to Electronic Medical Records Software.  Setting aside for a moment the thousands of dollars in Federal Incentive Payments and the associated reduced operating costs with a good EMR Software, this $15,700 savings per year for using the electronic prescription feature of a good EMR in your practice, can literally pay for the total cost of your EMR, including extensive on-site training, in less than three years.

There is one caveat though, and that is, finding the right EMR with all the “right-stuff” to get the e-Rx job done, and get it done right.  My advice to all Physicians, take the time to find a reputable and experienced Independent EMR software and electronic prescription Consulting Firm who can guide you in all the right directions now and in the future.  A good Consultant will provide you with several hours of upfront consulting services for free throughout your planning and selection process saving you a lot of time, frustration, and money.  When its' all said and done, you have a good EMR and ePrescribing system that works and you can enjoy your trip to the bank taking your savings from reduced operating costs with ePrescribing, and higher Net Revenues through greater efficiencies with the right Electronic Medical Records Software, with the added bonus of ensuring you receive the Federal Incentive Payments too.

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RevenueXL Inc. provides best value comprehensive solutions to medical practices. Our solutions include affordable Electronic Medical Records Software (a.k.a. EMR or EHR Software), Patient Portal, and Practice Management or Medical Billing software and revenue cycle services including medical billing, medical coding, coding audits and account receivables management services. RevenueXL offers a free consultation session to review your current challenges and answer open questions revolving around EMR and revenue cycle.

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