Electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) software for dentists enables prescribers “to electronically send an accurate, error free and understandable prescriptions directly to a pharmacy.”1 E-prescribing has many benefits for not only prescribers but, more importantly, for patients. Patient safety has been and will remain the driver behind regulatory requirements that encourage switching to e-prescribing. Because of a relatively low volume of prescribing in comparison to other specialties, dental prescribers have traditionally been slow adopters of new prescribing technologies. However, with regulatory requirements now starting to include dentists due to the types of medications prescribed, dentists should be aware of the other reasons why it’s important to implement e-prescribing software into their dental practices.
Whereas a medication error is a failure in the treatment process that leads to (or has the potential to lead to) harm to the patient, a prescription error is a failure in the prescription writing process that results in an incorrect instruction regarding one or more of the normal features of a prescription.2 Veradigm ePrescribe delivers advanced, affordable, cloud-based e-Prescribing to thousands of dental professionals, including those utilizing Dentrix® ePrescribe. Whether accessed as a standalone e prescribing solution or as part of their electronic health record system, Veradigm ePrescribe supports dental prescribers with notifications of allergies, drug interaction details, duplicate therapy warnings, and other relevant content that can help you keep your patients safe, while also ensuring pharmacists no longer need to struggle to decipher handwritten prescriptions.
With electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS), prescribers are better able to track controlled substance prescriptions written by all providers in their practice, reducing the likelihood of over-prescribing or “doctor shopping.” All states will be required to support EPCS by January 2021 under the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act. Using an e-prescribing software system will help you to fulfill this requirement and be prepared for the mandate starting in 2021.
Medication adherence refers to the patient’s compliance with the clinician’s care plan with respect to timing, dosage, and frequency of prescribed medication(s). One-third to one-half of U.S. patients do not take their medication as prescribed and two-thirds of medication-related hospital admissions are due to non-adherence, costing our healthcare system $100 billion a year.3 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), non-adherence to drug therapy causes 30% to 50% percent of treatment failures and leads to ~125,000 deaths per year.4 Fill reminders and patient education tools in e-prescribing software such as Veradigm’s RxInfo also help patients better understand the importance of picking up and following through on their prescribed therapies.
Dentists, like other prescribers, have no way of knowing patient-specific drug pricing and alternatives when handwriting prescriptions. Even the majority who e-prescribe have no way of knowing the cost of medications when writing prescriptions until recently. Price transparency is when all of the parties involved in a transaction know the pricing of the products being bought and sold.5 Price transparency has rapidly evolved into a prominent means to empower patients to take control of their healthcare.5 Prescription price transparency solutions, such as Veradigm’s RxTruePrice™, make it easier for dentists to choose medications that will be covered by a patient’s drug benefit plan or otherwise determine the most cost effective out-of-pocket options for their patient which, in turn, increases the likelihood that the patient will pick up their medication and adhere to their care plan.
As a pharmacist, the biggest challenge I face when working with hand written prescriptions is not seeing the full picture. Patients will come to the pharmacy after a dental visit and either 1) hand us a prescription for an antibiotic and narcotic and only want to fill the narcotic or 2) have two separate prescriptions and only show us the narcotic, so we are unaware an antibiotic prescription was written. Although some community pharmacies may have special rules for this situation, it is unethical and dangerous to only fill the narcotic for a patient. E-prescribing can help reduce these situations by sending both prescriptions so the pharmacist can evaluate the situation and provide the best care to the patient.
Veradigm ePrescribe can help your dental practice reap the benefits of electronic prescribing and be prepared for upcoming regulations on e-prescribing of controlled substances and prior authorizations for Medicare Part D - click here to learn more about e-prescribing for dentists.
Tom Pasquariello, PharmD, BCPS, BCMAS, PRS
Tom Pasquariello, PharmD, serves as a Clinical Informatics Pharmacist for Veradigm. He graduated from Campbell University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 2008. After serving as a hospital and community-based pharmacist for 7 years, Tom joined Allscripts in 2015. As the Veradigm clinical informatics pharmacist, Tom serves as a thought leader for Clinical Workflows, Practice Fusion, and Payer Health markets. He also manages the Allscripts’ Medi-Span content relationship for all medication related issues. Tom publishes a weekly newsletter to the Veradigm product management, sales, and payer teams. This newsletter provides insight on new FDA approved medications, relevant medical news, pharmacy benefit management (PBM) updates, and new genetic therapies. By connecting the Veradigm team and our external sales partners, the weekly newsletter helps the team stay on the forefront of medical updates, exceeding the needs our clients and ultimately helping to provide better care to each patient.