Friday, October 11, 2013

What Is Eprescribing

E-prescribing is an electronic process in which the doctor is able to send a pharmacy a prescription. A computer in the doctor's office, often set up right in the exam room, securely transmits the doctor's prescriptions to the pharmacy the patient chooses. There are many benefits to e-prescribing over handwritten prescriptions---for the patient, the doctor and the pharmacy. E-prescribing is beneficial to all parties as long as patients take the time to understand prescribed medications before leaving the doctor's office.


With e-prescribing, a computer program allows the doctor to type in prescriptions and then submit those prescriptions to a pharmacy. Sometimes the transmission is computer to computer, meaning the pharmacy receives the prescription order on a computer in the pharmacy. Sometimes the prescription is sent by fax to the pharmacy once the doctor submits the prescription electronically.


Doctors can easily transmit e-prescriptions to a pharmacy of the patient's choice. The transmission takes seconds, and doctors can do it while the patient is in the office. The pharmacy can then have prescriptions waiting for patients, unlike when a patient has to bring a written prescription in. Pharmacists don't have to waste time deciphering the doctor's handwriting or strange dosage symbols, so prescriptions are ready sooner.


The main benefit of e-prescribing is the elimination of errors from illegible doctor's handwriting. Pharmacists don't have to guess what a prescription says, since the doctor has typed it on the computer. This reduces the time patients spend waiting when pharmacists have to call to determine what a doctor intended to write. E-prescribing also easily stores digital patient records, allowing pharmacies and doctors to keep tabs on what patients take, whether it interacts with other prescriptions, and when the patient filled the prescription.

Potential Errors

Errors can still occur with e-prescribing. Patients should make sure that they get the prescription the doctor discussed with them, and the same dosage. E-prescribing does not prevent pharmacy errors or errors with dosage determination.

Preventing Errors

Because e-prescribing eliminates problems stemming from misinterpreted writing, the only real problems are dosage errors, medication errors or incorrect use of acronyms. Make sure you understand what prescriptions the doctor has given you, why you are taking the drug and the dosage information. Discuss all medications, both over-the-counter and prescription, with your doctor and pharmacist to ensure that new medications do not interact with any current medications. Make sure the doctor sends the prescription to the correct pharmacy, since that is the only place you can pick it up.

Tags: doctor handwriting, doctor office, Make sure, patients take, pharmacy patient, pharmacy Sometimes