Update Shows Both Accuracy and Utilization of e-Prescribing is on the Rise

Blog Posts  |  25 September 2019  |  By Tom Pasquariello, PharmD, BCPS, BCMAS, PMSP

Update Shows Both Accuracy and Utilization of e-Prescribing is on the Rise

Electronic prescribing (e-Prescribing) technology empowers physicians and other medical practitioners to write and send prescriptions to a participating pharmacy electronically instead of using handwritten or faxed notes or having to call in prescriptions. The use of e-Prescribing has dramatically increased over the past decade.1 Healthcare professionals (HCPs), including physicians and pharmacists, have sought clinical improvements, efficiencies, and improved financial results through managed care strategies that rely upon data automation through e-Prescribing.1 The influence of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) has contributed to this trend by guiding medical facilities to switch from paper charting to an Electronic Health Record (EHR) or a standalone e-prescribing solution.1

New data from Surescripts highlights that e-prescribing accuracy has increased by 64% over the past three years.2 That means less potential for error in prescription fulfillment related to illegible handwriting or lost hard copy prescriptions.2 Another common challenge with hand-written prescriptions is missing data, which takes time away from direct patient care for both the pharmacist and the practice staff, who often end up having to speak, by phone, to secure the missing information to complete the prescription correctly.2 Today, there are prescriptions standards that cover 40 different data elements that must be completed before the prescription can be transmitted to the patient’s pharmacy of choice to be reviewed by a pharmacist.2

Unfortunately, any challenge in the prescribing process can contribute to medication non-adherence.2 Adherence is defined as the extent to which patients are able to follow the recommendations for prescribed treatments.3 Approximately 30-50% of U.S. adults are not adherent to long-term medications leading to an estimated $300 billion in preventable costs annually.2,4

Several other key findings should be noted. Today, there are fewer than 1% of new prescription duplicates.2 In addition, day supply was entered correctly in 90% of all new prescriptions.2 Incorrect day supply costs adds additional costs in fraudulent billing, which in turn can lead to higher insurance premiums for patients and employers.

From 2016-2018, the percent of prescribers enabled for electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) (14-32%) has increased at around the same rate as the percent of controlled substance prescriptions sent electronically (11-31%).2 As our country attempts to make progress on the challenges associated with opioids and other controlled substances, new regulations requiring EPCS for all controlled substances prescriptions for Medicare Part D or requiring prior authorizations will go into effect in January 2021.

Veradigm works closely with Surescripts and other partners to help HCPs ensure prescription documentation compliance. If you are a provider still prescribing on paper, or are interested in accessing advanced, easy-to-use, affordable e-prescribing for your practice, click here for more information or to sign up now.

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3615836/

2 https://hitconsultant.net/2019/08/22/report-e-prescription-accuracy-has-increased-by-64-since-2016/#.XW_vWqOWy73

3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3711878/

4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3976600/

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