Electronic Prescribing (e-Prescribing)
With the advent of digitalization, everything in the paper being converted into a digital document has proved to be a major advantage for the people. Managing the documents safely and securely has never been this easy.
In the previous times, with everything being recorded on the paper, its protection, safety, transportation, and preservation posed a huge challenge for the mankind. Amongst these, medical prescriptions proved to be important. Due to its nature of containing crucial information, any form of misrepresentation or tampering would have been catastrophic. But these problems don’t exist anymore as the invention of E-prescribing has emerged and is being adopted at an exponential speed.
So, what is E-prescribing exactly?
It is the process of writing, sending and renewing medical prescriptions in a digital form, replacing the traditional pen and paper documentation.
Allowing the doctor, nurse practitioner, pharmacist and other medical authorities to write and exchange them. The prescribing technology saves the trouble of deciphering cryptic handwriting, reducing the chances of errors occurred due to faulty text or faxes.
E-Prescribing has 3 major functions that include:-
- Generation and transmission of a medical prescription.
- Renewal of expired medical prescription via an authorized entity.
- Placing bulk orders to the pharmacist.
Like every other process, e-prescribing also has a model which represents its overall functioning and the key parties involved.
The model has the following entities:-
- Prescriber – He is the authoritative individual who determines which components would be going in the prescription. Either the physician writes the prescription, or any other individual responsible on behalf of the former one provides with the contents to be written in the prescription. With the help of personal account credentials, the prescriber logs into the system and alters the data in the various fields or appends the new information in the record based on the requirement.
- Central Transaction Node – The holding block of the entire prescribing system provides a link between all the entities present in the model such as the prescriber, pharmacy firm, and pharmacy benefit manager (PBM). When any prescriber enters or alters the data of any patient, the request goes to this node, which in turn connects with the pharmacy benefit manager for the correctness and validity of the data. When confirmed, the request is accepted by the node and allows the prescriber to store the data. This data is then sent to the PBM to make them change their database as well.
- Pharmacy – The pharma firm after receiving the request from the central transaction node sends a confirmation message and checks its inventories and provides the prescriber with the relevant information.
- Imaging – If a patient’s record history is stored in the e-prescription, the imaging center will receive the patient history and current condition as well and will notify the prescriber and patient if any pending scans or check-ups are remaining.
There are multiple advantages of using the method of e-prescribing. Major ones are mentioned below:-
- E-Prescribing reduces the efforts and time in scrawling through the necessary tests, scans and medicines of a patient.
- Regular updates and reminders to the patient regarding their upcoming medical tests, and scans results in offering better healthcare facilities. Also, since all the data is already stored in the system and is being forwarded to the required authorities, there won’t be any need for carrying the papers here and there for verification.
- Since all the inventories are checked and noted, an alert would inform if any drug is in shortage and needs to be refilled. Plus it will also check the authenticity of the drugs and inform in case of any duplication.