Before You Choose an EMR Vendor — Consider E-prescribing!

April 11, 2013
Consider the tactical challenges of e-prescribing adoption in the clinic setting.

Calling all “Ambulatory Care Providers” that have not implemented an EMR, please evaluate e-prescribing vendors that offer e-prescribing as part of their complete EMR solution.
What's it about? Electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) involves the use of application software and connectivity tools that enable hospitals, physician offices and ambulatory clinics to create and send prescriptions electronically directly to pharmacy systems. Ambulatory care providers that have not implemented an EMR should evaluate e-prescribing vendors that offer this capability as part of a complete EMR system.

E-prescribing has been shown to reduce medication errors, improve efficiency and lower medication costs. As a result, there has been increasing interest on the part of healthcare insurers to promote the use of e-prescribing. Healthcare plans providing subsidized e-prescribing solutions to physician offices have emerged as competitors to traditional electronic medical record (EMR) healthcare IT providers, although more practices are moving to the full EMR solution. It’s apparent that the traditional EMR vendors will ultimately have to supplant the stand-alone products as they integrate with ambulatory patient records and better meet the workflow requirements of clinicians.

For all medical offices, e-prescribing will enables clinician productivity, operational efficiency, patient safety and patient/customer satisfaction. Integrating e-prescribing with your ambulatory patient record will should be an essential long-term strategy for your organization.
My advice To help reduce IT investment costs, clinical practices should adopt a tactical approach in which e-prescribing is the first application as part of your EMR system to be installed, with other applications added in a modular fashion over time.
Nice to have: The ideal situation and best-case scenario, is for a physician to access the patient complete record of care — which includes the patient medical history, current symptoms, diagnoses, treatment plans, test orders and results — when prescribing new medications and renewing existing ones.

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