What is electronic prescribing?
Electronic prescribing (also known as e-prescribing) is the transmission via electronic means of prescriptions or prescription-related information between the prescriber, dispenser, pharmacy benefit manager and/or health plan. This transmission may happen directly or through an intermediary, such as an e-prescribing network. E-prescribing includes, but is not limited to, two-way transmissions between the point of care and the dispenser.
Why use electronic prescribing?
Electronic prescribing may improve safety, efficiency and consumer convenience.
E-prescribing gives the prescriber access to real-time patient information, including:
- Patient pharmacy benefit eligibility and coverage
- Medication history
- Drug-to-drug interactions and allergies
E-prescribing uses advanced technology to connect physicians, pharmacists and payers within a secure national network infrastructure. Multiple tools and options allow prescribers varying degrees of sophistication.
Value of electronic prescribing
The value of e-prescribing in preventing medication errors is that each prescription can be electronically checked at the time of prescribing for dosage, interactions with other medications and therapeutic duplication. E-prescribing could potentially improve quality and efficiency and reduce costs by:
- Promoting appropriate drug usage, such as following a medication regimen for a specific condition
- Providing information about formulary-based drug coverage, including formulary alternatives and copayment information
- Speeding up the process of refilling medications