| 17 March 2021
| By Tom Pasquariello, PharmD, BCPS, BCMAS, PMSP, PRS
Many things have changed dramatically throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but one thing that has not changed is direct access to local pharmacies. Pharmacists have always been available as a front-line healthcare worker, but they became more important than ever when physician offices were temporarily closed or had reduced hours while only practicing telemedicine. Pharmacists are soaring to new heights by taking on addition roles and responsibilities such as addressing medication shortages, providing and administering testing, and counseling patients all while still dispensing medications.1 With the increased workload, do they have the proper tools and technology in place to provide the best care to patients?
Veradigm ePrescribe® has incorporated RxChange transactions into the prescribing workflow to help streamline communication between the pharmacy and physician office to comply with the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) standards. These transactions are used when the pharmacy is asking for a change in the original prescription and needs a response from the prescriber. One example may be to allow for generic substitution, or using a therapeutic equivalent for a product that is unavailable from the manufacturer.2 This process can help save time by keeping both practitioners in their designated workflows without having to pick up the phone or send a fax. RxChange can also reduce overall administrative burden associated with restocking abandoned medications that were not picked up due to high cost or communication errors.
In addition to RxChange, we also support CancelRx (CANRX). This transaction is a request from the prescriber to the pharmacy to not fill a previously sent prescription along with the pharmacy’s response. This is imperative for patients receiving a new medication for the same condition or a change in strength of an existing medication. An example of this would be a patient that had a dosage increase of an angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) for their hypertension or a physician choosing to change the ACEI to a beta-blocker to help with a heart failure issue the patient may have developed. Many times, maintenance medications can be set to automatically refill and may be filled even if the patient has received a new prescription for a medication and should discontinue the old one. CANRX helps decrease confusion and promotes better patient safety.
Healthcare providers at the point of prescribing are facing challenges trying to find the most effective medication cost to their patients. With so many medication shortages and millions now without insurance due to COVID-19, pricing tools are critically important to help keep patients healthy. One of the most common questions we are hearing from patients right now is “How much is this medication going to cost?” RxTruePrice allows for direct access to patient-specific drug pricing information at the point-of-care with or without commercial insurance. Clinicians have the option to see pricing for 30, 60, or 90-day supplies at local pharmacies or even mail order options. Providing insights on coverage and prior authorization through a patient’s benefit plan will continue to raise medication adherence to help control chronic disease management.
New tools have empowered pharmacists to seamlessly collaborate with physicians on choosing alternative medications that are both clinically appropriate and affordable for their patients.1 The traditional pharmacy role has transformed over time from being the ‘middle man’ in a complex process between the patient and the provider, to now being an integrated part of a triad effort with full transparency to all parties. Veradigm® is excited to continue offering new solutions that help keep healthcare providers at the bedside interacting with their patients.