Five Reasons Why e-Rx (Electronic Prescription) Is Better Than Paper Rx, Health News, ET HealthWorld
With widespread digital transformations across industries, COVID-19 has accelerated the transition to a digitally driven world and healthcare is no exception. New era technologies such as AI (artificial intelligence), machine learning (ML), IoT, big data and many more, have catalyzed digital adoption and advancements in the fields of health and pharmacy. The industry has stepped up the pace to improve the way physicians communicate with patients and redefine the way health care is delivered.
One of these innovations that has quickly gained momentum in the health field is electronic prescribing or e-Rx. Simply put, an e-Rx is the digital version of a paper prescription created by medical professionals or doctors. These electronic prescriptions can be digitally generated, transmitted directly to a pharmacy, and stored in the patient’s mobile, laptop or tablet as Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology.
E-Rx is rapidly replacing age-old paper prescriptions and has proven to be beneficial around the world. It has gone beyond the benefits of handwritten prescriptions, cross-checking prescribed medications, finding alternatives when unavailable, and many more.
No room for error
Unlike handwritten prescriptions, e-Rx are readable and clear in terms of understanding the treatment and dosage, making them error-free. Pharmacists don’t have to spend time decoding the prescription and can fill orders quickly. Several prescriptions mention drugs that have similar spellings or sounds or an incorrect dose. Misinterpretation of medications or instructions can deteriorate the patient’s condition. However, e-Rx eliminates medication and prescribing errors and ensures patient health safety.
Cannot be lost or misplaced
Paper Rx is easy to lose or misplace, but e-Rx are stored as an EHR on the patient’s device or cloud. Hence, they are readily available and cannot be lost. As soon as the patient receives an e-Rx from the doctor, they can forward it to the pharmacist without having to keep track of the paper. If a handwritten prescription is lost, the patient may need to see the doctor again or call for a new one, resulting in a delay in treatment. Since e-Rx is based on electronic technology, the patient can easily keep their medical records and review their old prescriptions when needed.
Less time spent filling prescriptions
Pharmacies are often busy with people and phone calls from patients at the same time. An e-Rx streamlines and speeds up the process as the pharmacist scans the prescription in seconds and delivers medications to the patient without errors or delays. Injured, immunocompromised, or elderly patients can benefit greatly from e-Rx by simply passing it on to their local pharmacist instead of giving them the paper Rx. This speeds up the process, improves efficiency, reduces long queues in front of pharmacies and improves the customer experience.
Eliminate prescription forgery
Handwritten prescriptions can easily be forged and misused to obtain drugs for drug addiction, illegal sale of certain drugs, etc. Many people generate fake prescriptions or change the dose to get more medicine. But when doctors digitally prescribe drugs, they make sure prescriptions aren’t misused to obtain drugs illegally, ending criminal prescription forgery and drug abuse.
Better treatment and better diagnosis
E-Rx allows physicians to access old patient medical records that may contain documented allergies and previously prescribed medications. This will help doctors make informed decisions in the event that a patient takes duplicate therapies or any other issues / conditions that prevent a patient from taking a particular medication. Electronic prescribing also helps minimize the risk of medication error and adverse drug events resulting from manual / handwritten prescribing errors and further improves patient safety and quality of care. In addition, e-Rx leads to better health outcomes due to better readability of prescriptions, thus improving compliance.
At the end of the line
An E-Rx not only streamlines the entire prescribing process, but also saves time, eliminates medication and dosing errors, and improves the patient experience. In an industry where every second can be life or death, e-Rx can help save that essential time and improve patient outcomes. Digitization across the industry can help transform operations, develop innovations and transform the entire healthcare landscape.
By Gaurav Gupta, co-founder Navia Life Care
(DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and ETHealthworld does not necessarily endorse them. ETHealthworld.com will not be liable for any damages caused to any person / organization directly or indirectly.)