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One of the greatest advancements in healthcare, at least from a patient-centered point of view, is the development of telemedicine and electronic health records (EHR). These systems improve communication and services from provider to provider and doctor / patient.
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The result of such developments, especially at a time when office visits are limited, is faster, more tailored access to care and better outcomes.
One aspect of healthcare digitization that has been somewhat overlooked is prescription management. Medications can be prescribed and refilled digitally. Such access also allows healthcare providers to see a patient’s complete medical history. But these platforms weren’t as robust as a dedicated medication management system until we entered a new phase of e-prescription software development.
This brings us to eRx, also known as electronic recipes. What are the benefits of incorporating this type of system into medical practice and how can you ensure it is done properly?
What is an eRx?
With us, e-prescriptions became the recommended means of delivering controlled substances since 2010, around the same time that the opioid crisis was gaining widespread attention. The original goal was to reduce errors while providing more overview and transparency.
This system allows doctors to prescribe medicines electronically and send the prescription directly to the pharmacy. Push notifications alert the patient when their medication is ready. The system can also be set up to manage insurance claims, remind patients when it’s time to take their medications, and let them know when to refill.
The benefits of installing special recipe management software are:
* Improve the speed and quality of care delivery
* Save time and money
* Greater accuracy and transparency
* Improved patient safety
* Reduction of fraud and abuse
* Ensures compliance
However, these benefits are only experienced with a successful implementation.
Best practices for deploying eRx systems
Implementing a medication tracking system in your practice improves the quality of care for your patients and can result in significant savings.
Before embarking on any kind of digital transformation, conduct a small internal review and develop a consensus among your employees.
Analyze your current situation, including your budget, current digital platforms and the needs of your patients. Consider factors such as the patient’s age and ability, access, learning, and use of a new platform. For example, patients from a practice that primarily serves seniors or rural areas may have connectivity issues or experience a steep learning curve. If the system is too difficult to use or understand, patients will simply not use it.
Next, you want to describe your goals and objectives for acquiring a new patient care platform. Make sure the system you choose is aligned with these goals and objectives.
Once you’ve considered your budget and are confident in the cost-benefit analysis of implementing an eRx system, resource allocation should be the easiest part of this process.
But before starting the process, it’s essential to plan for possible service outages during the transition. It is also important that your patients, staff and any relevant suppliers are informed early in the process. Putting together a patient education brochure will help them ease the transition and instill confidence in using it. Also, try to build excitement and enthusiasm among patients and staff long before the final rollout.
It is important to know which local pharmacies are registered or which use eRx systems and inform them of your intention to install such a system in your practice. This applies to chains, which are only allowed to use specified platforms, and to independent pharmacies. The same applies to insurers within the network and other stakeholders.
Ensure that your system is fully compliant with government and industry regulations and standards.
Another important factor is to choose a system that works well on a range of platforms, operating systems and devices, and is widely supported by local practices, medical facilities and pharmacies. Mobile apps add value and encourage use.
The system itself must have multi-factor access control and built-in security. This should include secure, cloud-based storage for recipe histories, saved searches, and other supporting data. It must also integrate with your state’s PDMP database.
After we have established a solid foundation for installation and launch, it is time to finalize the eRx solution, in addition to choosing a system with broad support for multiple platforms.
Designate one person in your office to manage the system. This helps with the overview and ensures that at least one recipe software expert is present. Before you roll it out, run a few test runs to make sure there are no outages or other issues. Report anything you find to technical support immediately.
Finally, be patient as staff and patients adapt to the new system.
Common Barriers to eRx Software Deployment
The biggest barriers to any digital transformation are leadership, training and the degree of consensus between key players, such as office managers, caregivers and the patients themselves. With eRx systems in particular, several other issues can prevent successful tax software implementation.
We immediately see that the cost of purchase, installation, training and maintenance can be a huge factor, especially in a small or remote practice. When a healthcare facility is already using some form of electronic health record, this type of investment may seem unnecessary or unnecessary.
An additional source of frustration is the lack of a standardized system, which can lead to breakdowns and hitches or gaps in communication. Add to that the difficulty of getting all team members and patients on board with every change, and the difficulties associated with learning a new system, and you understand why some caregivers are hesitant to make the switch.
Another problem, less frequently mentioned, is the reluctance of insurers and pharmaceutical companies to participate in a system that does not benefit them in any way.
When handwritten prescriptions are not an option if you are looking for a more comprehensive patient medication management system, eRx can be a life saver in more ways than one. The key to its effectiveness lies in its successful integration and implementation.
Our guide is designed to provide some background information, along with tips and best practices, in an effort to provide context and the process for a successful rollout.
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