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E-Prescribing in California Essay

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Updated: Jun 15th, 2022

This paper aims to discuss the increased use and success of e-prescribing in the state of California, as well as examine the benefits of using an electronic prescription system. Electronic prescribing is a technology-based generation of a medical prescription that implies its digital transmission to the pharmacy without using handwritten notes or phone calls. Over recent years, e-prescribing has gained considerable attention from policymakers, both state- and nationwide. The testing projects conducted in Florida, Massachusetts, and several other states showed a high level of interest in such a prescribing method from healthcare practitioners, pharmacy workers, and patients. More states started to implement it into their healthcare services system. Some of them require e-prescribing only for certain controlled substances, and some require it for all types of medications. However, e-prescribing will eventually become a part of daily healthcare practices since Medicare will start to demand submitting all Part D scripts in a digital form (Caiola, 2019).

Speaking of California, all the practitioners will be required to utilize e-prescription since January 1, 2022. Nonetheless, it is recommended to start submitting electronic prescriptions right now to test the e-prescribing software and make this change gradual and easy for all stakeholders. Each year in California, the number of electronic prescriptions among the non-electronic one’s increases. Several years ago, the overall use of e-prescription was relatively low, including its utilization cases by small or solo providers along with independent pharmacies. Now, with the upcoming law of compulsory utilization, California experiences a rise in e-prescribing a range of medications and not only controlled substances. Certain barriers are now standing in the way of fully implementing e-prescribing into the healthcare system of California. They include costs of introducing new technology into medical facilities, fees associated with using the corresponding networks, as well as disruption of workflows. These aspects need to be gradually removed, which requires detailed investigation and careful planning to make the process less harmful for both providers and their patients.

Meanwhile, the benefits of e-prescribing are proved to positively influence all stakeholders involved in the process. The main advantage of the system is, of course, increased patient safety, which is the central objective of healthcare overall (Zadeh et al., 2016). The common errors associated with handwritten prescriptions include incorrect dosages, therapy duplication, selecting unavailable or inaccurate medicine, as well as order misinterpretation due to incomprehensible writing. If these errors are detected in the early stages of prescription processing, the delayed therapy might harm the patient that needs immediate care. In the worst scenario, the errors might not be identified whatsoever, which may result in serious health issues and even a fatal outcome. E-prescribing minimizes the possibility of a prescription mistake, as it uses strict guidelines and does not include a human factor. Moreover, the system warns a prescriber about potential allergic reactions and suggests the best medicine alternatives. Not to mention cost-effective outcomes for the patients, with the ability to save money when prescribed drugs electronically.

E-prescribing also benefits healthcare providers in the way it saves their time on writing prescriptions by hand and gives quick and easy access to the patient’s history. Prescribers can be certain that their possibles mistakes will be corrected, which gives them peace of mind (Zadeh et al., 2016). The same applies to the community pharmacies that obtain an opportunity to improve the prescription process and minimize the time spent on controlling and double-checking the entering orders. Moreover, e-prescribing gives advantages to employers, pharmaceutical, and insurance companies. Pharmaceutical companies see an opportunity to obtain data on prescribing habits of healthcare providers and work with them directly, using new technologies. Insurance companies can have less amount of claim losses as patients get clear, correct prescriptions. Finally, healthcare employers benefit from reduced medical costs and healthier employees. Thus, e-prescribing in California is destined to advance due to the present legislation and evident benefits of the electronic prescription system.

References

Caiola, S. (2019). Here Are California’s New Laws To Address The State’s Opioid Crisis. California State University, Sacramento. Web.

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.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "E-Prescribing in California." June 15, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/e-prescribing-in-california/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'E-Prescribing in California'. 15 June.

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