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Electronic Prescribing (E-Prescribing): Overview

Despite the fact that electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) cannot be currently regarded as an innovative practice, in recent years, it became widely used to accommodate the complexity and growth of the health care industry of the United States. According to Schleiden, et al. (2015), it is “the health information technology that enables prescribers to send prescriptions directly to pharmacies from the point of care” (p. 1). Between 2009 and 2010, due to the governmental encouragement of the e-prescribing systems’ adoption and implementation, the number of electronic receipts in pharmacies grew by 72% (Zadeh & Tremblay, 2016). In addition, according to the US national progress report, from 2007 to 2012, the total number of electronic prescriptions increased by 27% (Zadeh & Tremblay, 2016).

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In general, the major benefit of e-prescribing is associated with its convenience for health care practice as e-prescribing systems may be linked to other electronic resources within electronic health records (Schleiden, et al., 2015). E-recording facilitates access to patient medication histories, clinical decision support, pharmacy benefits information, laboratory results, fill-status notification, and clinical notes. Instant access to prescribers to these resources informs them about alternative medications, possible drug-drug interactions, and the patient’s previous regimen in order to avoid medication errors.

From a personal perspective, e-prescribing has more advantages for prescribers, pharmacists, and patients in comparison with traditional handwritten and printed prescriptions. Illegible or misread handwriting may cause serious medication administration errors, while electronic receipts are understandable. Typed and printed receipts require additional equipment and maybe accidentally lost. In turn, e-prescribing is accessible on any device and at any time. Moreover, it may be instantly shared with competent accredited colleagues in the case of any issue or emergency to provide time-sensitive and effective medical aid.

References

Schleiden, L. J., Odukoya, O. K., & Chui, M. A. (2015). Older adults’ perceptions of e-prescribing: Impact on patient care. Perspectives in Health Information Management, 12, 1-15.

Zadeh, P. E., & Tremblay, M. C. (2016). A review of the literature and proposed classification on e-prescribing: Functions, assimilation stages, benefits, concerns, and risks. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, 12(1), 1-19. Web.

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