Remote prescribing is a term used to prescribe medicines to a patient through telemedicine or a telehealth platform. Here in this blog, we will share its importance, benefits, and some best practices to adopt while prescribing remotely.
- Electronic prescribing is a term used for prescribing medicines through the use of a telemedicine platform.
- It is a secure way of transferring prescribing information.
- Around seven thousand people in the USA die annually due to medication errors.
- In contrast to a manual prescription, you need to have a sound software system and a connected network that will connect the healthcare provider, physician, patient, and pharmacy for an electronic one.
- By remotely prescribing medications, you can reduce medication errors, thus enhancing patient safety.
- You must adopt best practices like understanding your patient’s condition, prescribing cost affordable medications, and following the state laws for an effective and efficient process.
What is Remote Prescribing?
Remote prescribing or e-prescribing is a term used for prescribing medicines through the use of a telemedicine platform. The whole system is dependent on a virtual interaction between your healthcare physician and the patient. It is a secure way of transferring prescribing information by ensuring data flow through a network of interconnected devices.
But according to the Haight Act 2008, some restrictions were imposed on it. This act prevents healthcare providers from delivering remote prescription of controlled substances or drugs through a telehealth platform as their primary objective was to control the supply of pain killers.
Present Situation and the Role of Telehealth in Remote Prescribing
Due to the pandemic situation created by COVID-19, the total number of remote prescribers is increasing exponentially. Without any doubt, it has impacted the world, mainly with its several benefits. But on the other hand, there may arrive some complications while adopting this procedure.
Comparison of Manual & Remote Prescribing
For a manual prescription, you need to have a pen and paper to prescribe medicines. But in contrast to a manual prescription, for an electronic one, you need to have a sound software system with a standardized set of content and a connected network that will connect the healthcare provider, physician, patient, pharmacy, and insurance companies. This kind of information exchange mostly occurs with the help of a health exchange intermediary.
Importance of Electronic Prescribing
According to the latest information, approximately 4 billion prescriptions are written yearly in the USA. The hand-written process is not only slow, yet it has evolved into remote prescribing. This process effectively reduces the chance of error, thus enhancing the workflow and efficiency.
According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) latest report, around seven thousand people in the USA die annually due to medication errors. These errors occur mostly due to the misunderstood abbreviations and wrong dosage instructions.
Remotely prescribing medications is not a new invention in the healthcare industry, though it has evolved gradually in recent years. With enhanced user experience and improved quality, many healthcare providers have reached far on our paths towards success.
It has become a basic need of today’s healthcare industry as it has reduced the number of errors that were earlier a part of handwritten prescriptions. Another significant benefit is it has lessened the communication time between the patient, physician, and pharmacist. Thus it eventually increases the speed of prescription filling and improving the treatment process as a whole.
The meaningful utilization of electronic prescriptions has undoubtedly reduced the time for verification and data access compared to the physician’s manual prescriptions. It also helps the patient in saving both time and money while effectively using the remote prescribing system.
Benefits of Remotely Prescribing Medications
Some of the most common benefits associated with the process of remotely prescribing medications are:
- Reduced number of medication errors.
- Enhanced patient safety through the use of electronic prescriptions.
- Easy access to pharmacies for discontinued use of any prescription.
- No misunderstood handwritten abbreviations as in the case of manual prescription.
- Improved quality support system.
- Improved medication management and filing system.
Best Practices to Adopt for Electronic Prescribing
As a healthcare practice or a physician, you can adopt the following best practices while electronically prescribing medications to your patients:
- A Brief Understanding of Your Patient’s Condition
- It is a difficult task to understand your patient’s condition remotely. A basic understanding of your patient’s condition will help you accurately prescribe an effective and suitable medication plan.
- Choosing an Alternative Medication
- Many times the use of a particular drug or medicine disturbs its supply-demand balance. So, as a physician, you must need to be well-informed about an alternative medication or the same medicine from a different generic name.
- Keep an Eye on the Cost of the Prescribed Medication
- As a physician, you must have done an in-depth market research analysis so you can prescribe cost-affordable drugs or medications to your patients. There are many cheap alternatives to a drug already available in the market.
- Reduced Errors
- As a healthcare provider or a physician, you should recheck the medicines or drugs you have prescribed. Re-check the prescription before forwarding it to the pharmacy or for other health records.
- Patient Involvement
- You must involve your patient in the process of prescribing medicines as he/she has the right to know about the side-effects and effectiveness of a particular drug or medication.
- Follow Your State Laws
- You must not only be aware of the state laws, but as a responsible and dutiful healthcare provider, you should also follow them. There are certain medicines or drugs that can not be prescribed electronically. So you must be well aware of prescribing the right drugs approved by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
By choosing the right platform with the most advanced software for remote prescribing, you can improve your workflow and increase your return-on-investment.