By Robert McDermott, iCoreConnect President and CEO
From the Summer 2023 Journal of the Colorado Dental Association
It’s hard to believe that ePrescribing has been around for nearly 15 years and now a new electronic prescribing law is in effect for dentists in Colorado. As of July 1, Colorado dentists were required to electronically prescribe Schedule II, II and IV controlled substances.
Similarly, laws requiring Electronic Prescribing for Controlled Substances (EPCS) are expanding state to state, and improvements in the functionality of ePrescribing software have moved many medical and dental practices to make the switch for compliance. Additionally, older server-based practice management systems often don’t meet the needs of modern ePrescribing. As a result, many practices may not be realizing the full value or benefit of ePrescription solutions simply because of the software solutions they choose.
Prescription Challenges for Patients and Practices
We all know the old joke about doctors’ handwriting, but the truth is errors related to illegible handwriting on prescriptions aren’t funny at all. In fact, up to 25% of medication errors are related to illegible handwriting. And, when it comes to prescription challenges, medication errors are only one piece of the puzzle.
In addition to potential medication errors from bad handwriting, medication errors may also include allergies, contraindications, or negative interactions resulting in $40 billion patient costs each year.Still, challenges aren’t just about errors. Medication nonadherence is a major issue. 30%-50% of American adults either do not take the medication they have been prescribed or don’t do so according to the schedule or dosage prescribed.
While there are a variety of reasons for nonadherence, failing to fill the prescription because of obstacles to doing so is a major issue. Many patients run into problems at the pharmacy that prohibit prescriptions from being filled and lack of time, funds, access, or even fears or distrust can result in the prescription remaining unfilled.
Medication and prescription issues may, at best, complicate procedures, treatment and patient outcomes and, in worst case scenarios, result in an inability to provide the care required by the patient.
For practices, one big concern is adherence to the state Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). Not only is this a compliance issue, but it’s also a major patient safety and practice liability issue. Especially with older software, doctors may not have quick and easy access to a patient’s full prescription history, making safe prescribing of controlled substances difficult.
Thankfully, there are ways to prevent these issues and concerns while saving your practice and patients’ time, effort, and stress.
What Does ePrescription Software Do?
The simple and short version of what ePrescription software can do is alleviate a lot of the concerns noted above. ePrescribing software allows dentists and doctors to write a prescription and securely send that prescription directly to the patient’s pharmacy. Then, without the risk of a lost prescription or having to wait for it to get filled, patients can have their prescriptions filled quickly and accurately, helping to decrease errors and improve both adherence and the patient care experience.
Why Your Practice Needs ePrescription Software
There’s a pretty easy way to tell if your practice needs ePrescription software. In addition to complying with the July 1 law, are you looking for ways to improve your efficiency? Increase medication adherence? Cut costs? Improve prescription accuracy and safety? Save your patients time and effort? Protect your practice from liability issues and concerns? Prescribe all medications easily with access to all needed information at your fingertips including the state’s PDMP?If you answered yes to one or more of those questions, you’re not alone.
Important Features in ePrescription Software
Still, not all ePrescription software solutions are the same. Choosing the right solution for your dental practice can make a significant difference in the benefits you realize.
For example, some ePrescription software solutions are bound to server-based onsite practice management systems and only allow ePrescribing from a desktop computer, limiting the efficiency and speed of the process. Others only allow you to access ePrescribing from an app on your smartphone. Look for a solution that allows you to ePrescribe from any device–be it laptop, desktop, tablet or mobile phone.
Similarly, some solutions still require that you log in to the state PDMP separately from your software. Utilizing software that seamlessly integrates with the Colorado PDMP allows you to check and note patient prescriptions as needed from one application, anywhere in your office.
Looking to improve efficiency even more? Consider features like autofill, favorites, and flags for negative interactions, all designed to help save you time and effort while enhancing patient safety and simplifying the prescription process for all parties.
CDA Enterprises Endorsed Partner iCoreConnect ensures you get an industry partner who understands not just your ePrescribing needs but your challenges and goals as well. Book a demo of iCoreRx ePrescribing software today at iCoreConnect.com/Co17 or call 888-810-7706. CDA members receive a 43% special discount on iCoreRx