E-prescribing is the transmission of prescription or prescription-related information using electronic media between a prescriber, dispenser, pharmacy benefit manager, or health plan, either directly or through an intermediary, including an e-prescribing network.
In an effort to understand the benefits and cautions about e-prescribing, conduct thorough research. For your Dropbox assignment, create a 4- to 5-page report in Microsoft Word document consisting of your research findings covering your responses to the following questions:
- Evaluate three pros and three cons of e-prescribing.
- Summarize the e-prescription standards as described by the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs.
- Evaluate the projected cost and time savings as estimated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
- Comment on the controversy surrounding the 2013 e-prescribing penalty.
Support your responses with examples.
Cite any sources in APA format.
Expert Solution Preview
E-prescribing is a practice that is increasingly being adopted in the healthcare industry. This method involves using electronic media to transmit prescription or prescription-related information between prescribers, dispensers, pharmacy benefit managers, or health plans. As a medical professor, it is important to understand the benefits and cautions of e-prescribing to educate students on the use of technology in healthcare. In this report, we will evaluate the pros and cons of e-prescribing, summarize the e-prescription standards, evaluate cost and time savings, and comment on the controversy surrounding the 2013 e-prescribing penalty.
Evaluate three pros and three cons of e-prescribing:
1. Improved patient safety: E-prescribing reduces medication errors caused by illegible handwriting of prescribers or dispensers, and also prevents drug interactions by automatically checking for drug allergies and prescription history.
2. Increased efficiency: E-prescribing eliminates the need for paper-based prescriptions, reducing the time spent on documentation and allowing for better coordination between prescribers and dispensers.
3. Cost savings: E-prescribing reduces costs associated with printing, faxing or mailing prescriptions, and also reduces the cost of resolving errors caused by traditional paper-based prescriptions.
1. Implementation costs: There may be significant implementation costs associated with adopting e-prescribing technology, which may be a burden for small practices or independent healthcare providers.
2. Security risks: E-prescribing raises security concerns related to the transmission and storage of electronic data, which may be vulnerable to cyber-attacks, data breaches or misuse.
3. Potential for system downtimes: Electronic systems may be subject to downtimes due to technical issues, which may impact the ability of healthcare providers to access or transmit prescription information.
Summarize e-prescription standards as described by the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs:
The National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) has established standards to ensure uniformity and compatibility in e-prescribing. These standards cover various aspects of e-prescribing like eligibility verification, medication history, medication list, clinical decision support, and formulary and benefit information. Additionally, the NCPDP has also established standards for the transmission of prescription information, processing of prescription renewal requests, and medication therapy management.
Evaluate the projected cost and time savings as estimated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services:
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, e-prescribing is expected to generate significant cost and time savings for the healthcare industry. Implementation of e-prescribing will help reduce costs associated with paper-based prescriptions, which is estimated to be around $140 billion annually. Additionally, e-prescribing will help healthcare providers save time spent on documentation and error resolution, while also improving patient outcomes.
Comment on the controversy surrounding the 2013 e-prescribing penalty:
In 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced penalties for healthcare providers who did not adopt e-prescribing technology. This controversial penalty was criticized by some stakeholders in the healthcare industry for being punitive and potentially leading to the closure of small practices. However, proponents of the penalty argued that it was necessary to encourage adoption of e-prescribing technology to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.
In conclusion, e-prescribing has its pros and cons, and healthcare providers need to carefully evaluate the technology before implementing it. The National Council for Prescription Drug Programs has established standards to ensure consistent implementation of e-prescribing. Implementation of e-prescribing is expected to result in significant cost and time savings for healthcare providers, but there is still controversy surrounding penalties for non-adoption. It is important for healthcare providers to stay up-to-date with advancements in technology that can improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.