Podcast: How Electronic Prescriptions Can Help Optimize Patient Care

Blog Posts  |  12 May 2021

Electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) was introduced twenty years ago, but it took nearly a decade to take off. Now, its importance in today’s healthcare environment is escalating rapidly. In the United States alone, providers transmit over two billion prescriptions yearly, about 160 million of those for controlled substances. Jill Helm, VP and Solution Manager for Veradigm ePrescribe™, says that “electronic prescriptions are one of the most visible and tangible pieces of healthcare delivery. They are a key facet of the patient experience.”

E-prescribing is the topic of a Dental Deep Dive podcast featuring both Jill Helm and Veradigm’s Helena Molyneux, Client Account Manager for ePrescribe Solutions. The two discuss the current landscape of e-prescribing, diving into how providers can use e-prescribing to improve patient safety, upgrade office staff efficiency, and align with state regulatory mandates.

Improving Patient Safety

Helm begins by talking about e-prescribing’s important role in improving patient safety. She discusses how e-prescribing has expanded to include functions such as a patient’s medication history, prior prescriptions filled, prescription eligibility, and more. This information facilitates patient record mobility, so patient information is available wherever they seek care.

In many states, e-prescribing has also become an essential component of the process for monitoring controlled substance use. Helm explains that the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP)—a state-level registry of patient controlled substance prescription histories—integrates with EHRs and e-prescribing. This connection allows providers to see patients’ prescription histories and enables them to make current prescribing decisions more holistically.

Enabling Price Conversations

Molyneux also discusses the importance of having price conversations with patients. “There’s a study done back in 1988 that literally said the top reason why people don’t take their medication is they can’t afford it,” she says. She and Helm explain how e-prescribing and related tools allow providers to educate patients on prescription costs before they head to the pharmacy.

Helm adds that prescription price transparency will improve patient relationships. “Give the patient a heads up,” she says. “Engage them in that conversation. That will go a long way towards patient satisfaction, and really reduce the chances the patient isn’t going to take the needed medication as prescribed.”

Supporting Office Staff

Helm and Molyneux also talk about how e-prescribing can streamline work for front and back office staff. Increasing their efficiency can save your practice both time and money. Helm shares, “I can’t tell you how many people have said, ‘I spent three hours on the phone with the pharmacy, trying to call in a script.’”

e-Prescribing transforms the job of prescription submission. Instead of placing a phone call, sitting on hold, and trying to multitask while waiting, your staff clicks a few buttons.

Is e-Prescribing for You?

To conclude, Molyneux addresses a universal question: Is e-prescribing right for your practice? Many providers, she says, think e-prescribing is only for certain medical specialties—but that’s not the case. e-Prescribing is the new future of prescription communication.

As Helm explains, “Allow the information available in the technology to really help you transform your practice, to do things in a different, patient-friendly, more efficient way.”


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