Today's News / Health

ISHN Healthwatch: E-prescribing useful, but needs improvement

Study finds renewals problematic

November 22, 2011
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

prescription drugsThe old joke about doctors' handwriting being difficult to read may become a quaint relic of the comedic past if electronic prescribing fulfills its potential, although a new study warns that some problems still need to be worked out before that can happen.

E-prescribing is generally viewed as a time- and money-saver that can streamline the perscription process and, yes, reduce medication errors caused by the aforementioned illegible handwritten prescriptions. Despite this, a study funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) found that while the electonic transmission of new prescriptions is getting good reviews, prescription renewals, connectivity between physician offices and mail-order pharmacies, and manual entry of certain prescription information by pharmacists—particularly drug name, dosage form, quantity, and patient instructions—continue to pose problems.

"Physicians and pharmacies have come a long way in their use of e-prescribing, and that's a very positive trend for safer patient care and improved efficiency," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D.

Researchers at the Center for Studying Health System Change in Washington, D.C. found that physicians and pharmacies used e-prescribing for renewals much less often than for new prescriptions. One-third of physician practices had e-prescribing systems that were not set up to receive electronic renewals or only received them infrequently.

Physician practices reported that some pharmacies that sent renewal requests electronically also sent requests via fax or phone, even after the physician had responded electronically. At the same time, pharmacies reported that physicians often approved electronic requests by phone or fax or mistakenly denied the request and sent a new prescription.

The study noted that resolving e-prescribing challenges will become more pressing as increasing numbers of physicians adopt the technology in response to federal incentives.

jamia.bmj.com/content/early/2011/11/17/amiajnl-2011-000515.full.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Scenes from the World of Safety

Sights, signs & symbols from the National Safety Congress & Expo held in San Diego, CA, September 15-18

12/11/14 11:00 am EST

Why Flame Resistant Workwear? Understanding Workplace Hazards and OSHA Compliance

By defining the leading causes of flash fires, electric arc and molten metal splatter, we will address the ways in which companies can better protect their employees from such hazards through proper staff outfitting. In the topic, we will discuss the benefits of – and recent developments to – flame-resistant workwear and what to consider when creating a program for your employees.

ISHN Magazine

ISHN1214_cover.jpg

2014 December

Check out ISHN's last issue of the year, which features articles about distance learning, foot protection and confined space.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE ISHN STORE

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - SEPTEMBER 2014

ISHN FDO SEPTEMBER 2014For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. CHECK OUT THE SEPTEMBER 2014 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.