E-prescribing

E-prescribing is when a provider sends a prescription electronically to a pharmacy. E-prescribing allows providers, with patient consent, to access the patient's medication history and to know the patient's prescription benefits prior to sending the prescription. As a result, providers make better clinical decisions and improve workflow related to managing a patient's medication.

At the end of 2009:

  • 68% of Rhode Island prescribers were using an e-prescribing mechanism for new or renewal prescriptions;
  • 34% of all Rhode Island prescriptions (new and renewal) were being sent electronically; and
  • Rhode Island was the first state in the nation to have 100% of retail pharmacies capable of accepting electronic prescriptions.

Benefits

E-prescribing reduces medication errors to keep patients safe.

In 20xx, medication errors sent 4 million people to the Emergency Room. (more)

  • Handwriting interpretation errors are estimated to cause 9% of medication errors.
  • E-prescribing can alert providers to possible drug interactions or patient drug allergies before they prescribe the wrong drug.
  • Real-time access to a patient's medical history helps providers make informed clinical decisions.

E-prescribing saves staff time every day in a provider's office.

  • Providers who e-prescribe can renew prescriptions without having to find a patient’s chart.
  • Staff have to answer fewer questions about illegible handwriting.
  • Providers who e-prescribe have real-time access to the list of prescriptions that an insurer will cover.
  • Providers do not have to take the time to re-issue a prescription for an alternate medication to meet health insurance requirements.

E-prescribing could reduce the nation’s healthcare costs by $2.9 billion. (more)