105a***ePrescribing in the 21st Century: The Time is Now!*** Numerous patients arcoss America continuously grip and groan when they arrive to their pharmacy and are notified by the Pharmacist that the pharmacy has not received their prescription from the doctore28099s office. As an intern at one the countrye28099s top retail pharmacies I have witnessed the wrath of several customers when it comes to this issue. I have pondered a copious amount of times how pharmacies and physicians can improve this aspect of the healthcare profession. It was not until this past spring semester at school that I discovered a method known as e-prescribing, also known as electronic prescribing. The Center for Medicare and Medical Services defines e-prescribing as the act of electronically transmitting a patiente28099s prescription or information related to a patiente28099s prescription solely between the prescribing doctor, pharmacy, pharmacy benefit manager, or health plan/insurance company of the patient. E-Prescribing is currently available to assist pharmacists and physicians in avoiding the problem mentioned above. Why then are the vast majority of pharmacies and physicians failing to implement this e2809cground breakinge2809d technology into their businesses? In order to appropriately answer the question proposed I feel that it is necessary to thoroughly assess the benefits and limitations e-prescribing. E-prescribing provides prescribing doctors, pharmacist, and patients with several benefits. In 2003 Congress passed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act, also referred to as MMA. The MMA addressed several issues in the healthcare profession. One item in particular that this Law established are the standards for using electronic prescriptions. The standards that MMA set for e-Prescribing ensures patientse28099 privacy and a consistent method that is used to connect physicians, pharmacies, PBMs, and health plans/insurance companies. Due to the standards e prescribing is mandated to follow by the Federal Law, patients can be assured that their healthcare information is being transmitted in a confidential and orderly manner. Implementing electronic prescriptions will assist in providing patients with faster service, therefore improving convenience for customers. Patients will no longer have to wait an indefinite amount of time for their physiciane28099s office to call their prescription into the pharmacy. In addition to this, e-prescribing also has a positive impact on both physicians and pharmacists. E-prescribing aids in decreasing the amount of preventable adverse drug events and potential adverse drug events because all electronic prescriptions are typed. This eliminates the issue of physicianse28099 illegible handwriting and decreases the risks of administering a patient the wrong drug. Electronic prescriptions will help to advance the workflow of pharmacies. E-prescribing will decrease the amount of telephone calls that a pharmacist has to make. There in turn, this will allow the pharmacist to have an increase in time that they will be available to counsel patients. Ultimately, e-prescribing will enhance the overall productivity of the pharmacy and improve customer service that a pharmacy will offer its customers. Unfortunately, e-prescribinge28099s capabilities are limited in its ability to provide electronic prescriptions for schedule II controlled substances. Due to federal laws schedule II controlled substance drugs will not be able to be electronically prescribed for patients. Federal law mandates that schedule II controlled substance prescriptions be handwritten and contain the actually signature of the prescribing doctor. Overall, the benefits that e-prescribing provides outweighs its limitations. I am a firm believer that the healthcare system should continue to progressively evolve and use the top technology to provide patients with optimal care. Due to my philosophy I deem that all pharmacies and physicians should take advantage of the services that organizations such as Surecripts provides and implement e-Prescribing into their businesses.27


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