By now, it’s safe to say that the vast majority of medical practitioners have heard of electronic prescription management, more commonly known as “E-prescribing.”
But for those who aren’t yet familiar with it: e-prescribing is the computer-based electronic generation, transmission and filling of a medical prescription, with the purpose of modernizing and replacing the traditional paper-based handwritten prescriptions. Having prescriptions generated and sent electronically eliminates issues such as handwriting illegibility, misplacing the prescription before it makes it to the pharmacy, and the likelihood of prescriptions being placed in the waste basket instead of being filled.
But e-prescribing provides many more benefits than simply generating a prescription and electronically sending or faxing it directly to the pharmacy. It also helps physicians increase overall efficiency, allowing them and their staff to devote more time to reimbursable tasks and individual patient care, all of which can help generate additional revenue while improving patient outcomes.
In fact, here are 10 great reasons why medical practitioners should begin e-prescribing today:
10. E-prescribing can result in an average savings of 336.7 hours and $15,769 per year per full‐time equivalent physician, according to a Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) study .
9. E-prescribing allows physicians to easily access a patient’s formulary and select cost-effective prescriptions, increasing the likelihood patients will comply with prescribed treatment.
8. E-prescribing can reduce by up to 50% the average amount of time spent in dealing with questions, clarifications, and refill requests for paper-based prescriptions
7. Electronic prescriptions can be securely written from laptops, mobile phones, or iPads connected to any wireless network, allowing prescribers to write and/or renew prescriptions even when not in the office.
6. Physicians can utilize e-prescribing without having to buy or install any additional hardware or eliminate their paper charts.
5. Physicians can purchase an award-winning e-prescribing system that costs just a few cents more per day than an average cup of coffee.
4. More than 50% of practices in the US employing between two and 10 physicians adopted an e-prescribing system in 2011.
3. Greater adoption of e-prescribing can save the U.S. healthcare system between $140 and $240 billion over the next 10 years.
2. Medicare providers who write e-prescriptions for 25 unique patient encounters prior to December 31st, 2012 can receive a 1% bonus on their reimbursables in 2013 and avoid a 2% Medicare penalty in 2014.
1. E-prescribing can help substantially reduce 7,000 patient deaths and 1.5 million patient injuries that occur each year as a result of adverse drug events (ADE’s).
Interested in learning more about e-prescribing and how it can help you reduce costs and increase efficiency for your practice? Sign up for a free demonstration of Rcopia from DrFirst, the #1 physician ranked standalone electronic prescribing software by Black Book Market Research, based on customer satisfaction.
Prescription abandonment is a growing concern in the medical community. With more and more doctors having digital access to patient medication history data through e-prescribing and electronic health record systems, it is becoming increasingly clear that patients never pick up prescribed medications.
Research shows that there is a direct correlation between prescription abandonment and an increase in out-of-pocket patient costs. In addition, other factors — such as intolerable side effects and lack of patient understanding of the necessity of the drug — all result in medication non-adherence. These factors frequently result in unnecessary office visits and hospitalization, high re-admission rates, therapeutic failure, unnecessary deterioration in health, and the subsequent increase in the cost of health care.
Further research has shown that prescription abandonment causes up to 125,000 avoidable deaths per year and adds roughly $2,000 in additional healthcare costs per person in the U.S. When all the associated costs are combined, a 2011 study calculated that the cost of medication non-adherence — simply put: patients not taking their medications as prescribed by their physician – is almost $300 billion each year, more than 7% of all U.S. government spending on healthcare.
Physicians are no longer limited to interpreting medication history results. Now physicians can offer patients financial assistance to combat the strain on their wallets. With Patient Advisor services offered by DrFirst through Rcopia, Rcopia-MU, as well as through its EHR/EMR partners, physicians can now quickly view a patient report that provides instant insight into the level of medication adherence and prescription fill rates of patients. This way physicians can identify any gaps in care and effectively consult with the patient about the importance of sticking to their treatment. Providers can also provide clinical, financial, and behavior support such as patient education , prescription and co-pay savings, patient care plans, and lifestyle engagement programs. Patient Advisor is designed to help providers assist patients in overcoming any obstacles in taking their medications.
DrFirst allows physicians the capability to extend the care provided to the patient beyond the office visit and ensure that patient’s stick to “Just what the doctor ordered”.
You can download a free copy of our prescription abandonment infographic here.
Back in 2001 when DrFirst first developed e-prescribing, we spent a lot of time educating providers about the benefits and patient safety advantages of utilizing technology in their practices. We spent years “Crossing the Chasm” from early adopters to broader adoption. For years, the industry believed the inability to e-prescribe controlled substances (Schedule II – Schedule V), combined with DEA restrictions, was the single greatest barrier to the broad adoption of e-prescribing. Many practices that prescribe large numbers of controlled substances avoided e-prescribing altogether because it fragmented their workflows.
DrFirst spent years working with the DEA and AHRQ in the research, development, and pilot phase of meeting the DEA requirements, in order to remove this obstacle so providers could all benefit from e-prescribing. (http://blog.drfirst.com/drfirst/congratulations-ahrq-grantee-team/). After we successfully went through the difficult process of certification, we hit a lull.
What we didn’t anticipate was that EPCS would have its own “chasm” to cross.
After reading Dr. John Halamka’s blog on where the industry stands on EPCS, we realized that the industry wasn’t aware that many of the barriers have already been removed! (http://geekdoctor.blogspot.com/2012/09/an-update-on-controlled-substance-e.html).
“The primary barriers in my view have been: the development time and effort the vendors and pharmacies needed to come into compliance with the Interim Final Rule (IFR); the third party-audit (this is a reference to the section required IFR Section 1311 audit, not the Surescripts certification), which is both costly and time-consuming; an incorrect perception that no pharmacies can accept EPCS; vendors’ competing development priorities (Meaningful Use Stage 2, ICD-10, etc.); and having all the docs ID proofed and authenticated in conformance with the Drug Enforcement Agency IFR.”
1) DrFirst experienced first-hand the many hurdles in getting to market with EPCS. In an effort to help the overall industry finally remove THIS barrier to e-prescribing adoption, we created EPCS Gold™ as a platform accessible to any EHR or HIS vendor. With EPCS Gold™, we have removed those obstacles allowing EHRs of all sizes and technical capabilities to offer their physicians a high-quality, scalable, DEA-compliant, fully certified, audited, and low cost solution.
2) Since June, we’ve seen a 25% increase in the number of pharmacies enabled to accept EPCS. This includes over 12,000 pharmacies in 38 states, including several major national chains such as Walgreens, CVS, RiteAid, and Osco. Interestingly, some states have begun adopting legislation requiring real-time prescription monitoring in order to combat prescription drug abuse, such as New York State’s recent I-STOP law, which will make EPCS required by the end of 2014.
3) Vendors no longer have to choose between competing development priorities because EPCS Gold allows them to greatly reduce development costs and effort, and eliminate the effort for audits, certification, and avoid day-to-day system operations, ID proofing and authentication of providers and ongoing security and compliance for constructing and operating a controlled substance e-prescribing system that meets DEA requirements so they can get to market quickly.
DrFirst has removed these barriers to lower the bar because at the end of the day, we recognize that doctors will benefit from this technology and we believe in patient safety, so we’re doing our part to build a bridge across the chasm for the benefit of the entire industry! For more information about DrFirst’s EPCS product, EPCS Gold 2.0, please visit http://www.drfirst.com/e-prescribing-for-controlled-substances.jsp.
Once again, DrFirst Chief Strategy and Privacy Officer, Tom Sullivan, MD, has been asked to share his expert opinion on the identify proofing for doctors. This time, before the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), at a hearing on “Sharing Trusted Identities in Cyberspace.”
In a nutshell, Dr. Sullivan’s belief is that “physicians and selected other clinical providers are among the most highly credentialed and authenticated professionals in our society.”
Dr. Sullivan also repeated what is quickly becoming his mantra: “Everyone knows the first rule of medicine is: ‘Primum non nocere’ which is translated from the Latin to mean ‘First, do no harm’.” Dr. Sullivan indicated the second rule of medicine should be: “Secundo, tardus ne me” meaning “Second, don’t slow me down.”
A PDF of Dr. Sullivan’s comments to the ONC can be viewed at: http://healthit.hhs.gov/portal/server.pt/document/958215/oncverbal2_pdf
For more details, see the DrFirst press release at: http://www.drfirst.com/press/drfirst-chief-strategy-and-privacy-officer-testifies-before-onc.jsp
According to ModernHealthcare.com, the Meaningful Use audits have begun (see the article http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20120724/NEWS/307249988#). Normally, the word “audit” strikes fear into the heart of mortal man—and by extension physicians—but DrFirst Rcopia users have a secret weapon. AttestEasy℠, available to practices using Rcopia-MU, provides registration support, timely monitoring, and other concierge services to help physicians attest to Meaningful Use.
You can listen to a podcast of DrFirst President Cameron Deemer discussing AttestEast on http://www.hitconsultant.net/tag/drfirst-attest-easy/
More information about Rcopia-MU and AttestEasy can be found on the DrFirst website at: http://www.drfirst.com/attesteasy.jsp
The DrFirst team is back from Houston, after officially wrapping up the 94th Annual Endocrine Society’s Annual Meeting. We met with endocrinologists from all over the world: Argentina, China, the UK, Saudi Arabia, and of course, the U.S.
Doctors continue to be excited about our Rcopia-MUSM product as a way to take advantage of Meaningful Use incentives without going fully paperless. Even more exciting is that DrFirst can implement Rcopia-MU and get a practice up and running in as few as three to five days.