By Robert McDermott
From the Winter 2021 Journal of the Colorado Dental Association
Improve patient care and protect your practice as soon as you begin electronically prescribing. Key integrations and automations help to remove human error, verify correct prescriptions and reduce the risk of misuse.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reports an increase in overall drug overdoses in 2020 from March to June, recording 454 deaths. That’s an increase of 39% over the average of the past three years for this four-month period. Of the 454 deaths, 298 involved opioids, a 65% increase.
Across the country, more than half of all the states either have laws in effect or laws that take effect over the next several years requiring Electronic Prescribing for Controlled Substances, referred to as EPCS. Electronic prescribing helps to combat challenges posed by the opioid and pain killer epidemic.
e-Prescribing is More Secure Than Written Prescriptions
EPCS requires a one-time identity proofing process by a Credential Service Provider (CSP). Identity proofing prevents someone from impersonating you to access your computer system and illegally write prescriptions for controlled substances. As the doctor whose name and license are attached to an EPCS account, this is critical to protecting you from anyone attempting to forge a prescription.
Another unique element to e-Prescribing is a multi-factor (two or more) user authentication required each time you prescribe a controlled substance. These two steps are quick and easy and simply add another layer of protection for all involved.
In addition to the protection of your patients and your practice, e-Prescribing offers an opportunity to advance the way you run your practice. It reduces steps in your daily workflow, speeding up the entire process.
A big benefit of e-Prescribing is the flexibility it gives you. First, you can e-Prescribe any medication, not just controlled substances. That eliminates the reliance on paper, phone and fax, and streamlines your workflow into just one method to manage.
Second, no matter where you are or whether you are using your desktop computer, laptop, tablet or phone, your workflow doesn’t change. The execution of the process is similar to paper. Your staff can still prepare the prescription for you to review and approve. Then it’s sent with a click.
Integrate with Your Practice Management System (PM)
When your practice management system integrates with your e-Prescribing software, the PM populates your patient’s information directly into your e-Prescribing software. This speeds up your entire prescription process, reduces multiple entries of patient data and errors, and decreases time spent on prescribing.
Access Drug Directory Information
A good e-Prescribing service provides a built-in, rapid-search LexicompⓇ drug directory. Eliminate the yearly LexicompⓇ book purchase and the time it takes to flip through thousands of pages to find what you need. If the LexicompⓇ directory is built into the e-Prescription software, you just start typing the drug brand or generic name and the software immediately pulls the drug information, including dosing options, contraindications and discontinued meds.
Improve Patient Outcomes
Access your patient’s prescription history at your fingertips. e-Prescribing software often allows you to see all prescriptions dispensed at any U.S. pharmacy over the past 12 months.
Prescriptions are automatically transmitted. This means that they will most likely be ready by the time the patient gets to the pharmacy, therefore the patient is more likely to successfully pick up the medication.
The law requires Colorado dentists to electronically prescribe Schedule II, III and IV controlled substances no later than July 1, 2023. Begin e-Prescribing now to improve workflow and access robust information to help inform decisions around prescription care.
Robert McDermott is the president and CEO of iCoreConnect, a CDA Enterprises endorsed company. CDA members receive special discounted pricing on iCoreRx e-Prescribing service. Visit iCoreConnect.com/cda or call 888-810-7706.