E-Prescribing and It's Function in Healthcare Essay

1275 Words6 Pages
Electronic-prescribing, often referred to as e-prescribing, is a fairly new, innovative way for physicians and other medical personnel to prescribe medications and keep track of patients’ medical history. Not only has e-prescribing enabled prescribers to electronically send a prescription to the patients’ pharmacy of choice, in the short amount of time it has been available, it has significantly reduced health care costs, not only for the patient, but for the medical facilities as well. In 2003, e-prescribing was included in the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) which jumpstarted the role of e-prescribing in healthcare. It has proven to significantly reduce the yearly number medication errors and prescription fraud, and its widespread…show more content…
Not only does the electronic method of prescribing save time, it has also cut down on the number of accidents caused by the misinterpretation of handwriting. Although now almost obsolete, hand-written prescriptions have been the cause of many medical errors because certain sound-alike or look-alike drugs have, in the past, been incorrectly substituted for one another. A report given by the insurance company, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield disclosed that if all physicians were to begin using electronic-prescription systems, “more than two million adverse reactions or events – ranging from inconsequential to severe – could be avoided each year” (wgrz.com). According to pharmacist and associate director for the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Drug Safety, Jerry Phillips, “Six-hundred sound-alike or look-alike drug pairs have been identified as possible sources of error since 1992” (nytimes.com). For example, Lamictal, a mood-stabilizing anticonvulsant, is quite similar in spelling to Lamisil, an antifungal drug. Because of these strong similarities, it is not difficult to understand how easy it could be for medical personnel to mistake certain medications. But with e-prescribing, because the prescription is sent directly from the prescriber to the pharmacy, the number of accidents caused by misinterpretation of handwriting has already been
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