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ONC Releases Guide to Help with e-Prescribing

February 24, 2015
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT has released a resource guide to help providers with electronic prescribing.

According to ONC, 90 percent of pharmacies in the U.S. are enabled to accept e-prescriptions, 70 percent of physicians are e-prescribing using an electronic health record (EHR), and each state has an e-prescribing rate of 41 percent or above.

ONC’s suggested process for creating and managing a prescription electronically includes:

  • Sign on
  • Identify Patient
  • Review Current Patient Data
  • Select drug from menu in EHR
  • Enter parameters
  • Authorize and sign
  • Choose pharmacy
  • Pharmacy review and process

This is one example of a workflow for e-prescribing. This outlines, in the broadest sense, the steps that are commonly accepted but does not address specifically who in your practice setting may perform individual steps, or in what order they need to be done, ONC says.

“Some of these changes can result in decreased pharmacy call backs to the practice, increased patient satisfaction, and improved e-prescribing productivity,” ONC says in its guide. “Recommendations to create unambiguous prescriptions with standardized information enables effective clinical decision support and enhanced patient safety. While stand-alone e-prescribing systems are available, many of the optimal features and functions described in this guide are only possible through an e-prescribing application integrated with an electronic health record.”

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