In the past decade, e-prescribe has gained momentum all over the United States. Once COVID-19 hit the country, many practices had to further adjust their work to comply with CDC safety recommendations and related guidelines. The majority of which recommend limiting contact with patients as much as possible, creating a strong connection between electronic solutions like e-prescribe and COVID. Today, e-prescribe is an absolute necessity for medical and wellness practitioners. Here’s 8 reasons why e-prescribe is essential in the era of COVID-19.
Learn more about how e-prescribe can keep your practice running smoothly during COVID-19 by contacting us at NewCropRx today.
1. Keeping Healthcare Workers Safe
When the pandemic hit, the number of outpatient care visits plummeted by about 60%. By October, the pre-pandemic visit levels had returned. However, the virus is still here. Unfortunately, it hasn’t gotten weaker.
Healthcare industry workers are on the first line of battle, dealing with hundreds of patients who are potential virus carriers. E-prescribe eliminates the need for extra visits when a patient requires prescriptions and refills.
Coupled with telehealth options, e-prescribe keeps the face-to-face contact between patients and doctors to a minimum, thus keeping both parties safe.
2. Less Time Spent in the Pharmacy
One of the reasons e-prescribe has been widely introduced all over the country is the inefficiency of written prescriptions. Doctors can make simple errors when in a hurry and pharmacists may have a tough time understanding the doctor’s writing.
This results in a long deciphering process, which keeps the patient in the pharmacy longer than necessary. It can also create lines, maximizing contact between visitors.
With e-prescribe software, the majority of doctors’ errors are eliminated at the typing stage. The system suggests the right drug names and doesn’t allow entering non-existent dosages. It even allows a prescriber to check benefits information in real time. The pharmacists get access to a clear prescription, which prevents clarification calls to the clinic.
3. Completing the Telehealth Package
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, telehealth experienced a boost in popularity. The use of telemedicine improves the provision of health services regardless of the practice’s specialization. It allows doctors to monitor patients, consult them safely, and provide high-quality services to people in remote locations.
E-prescribe is an integral part of a 360° telehealth package. Without the ability to prescribe medication remotely, the benefits of telehealth decrease substantially. That’s especially true for patients in remote locations and those who are in self-isolation or experiencing anxiety or depression due to COVID-19.
4. Minimizing Stress for Patients
Stress levels for the entire population spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic. Worse yet, to minimize contact, many people try to avoid visiting a doctor unless something extremely serious happens. For example, a patient may discontinue taking antibiotics because getting a refill requires extra face-to-face contact. As a result, nonadherence could occur and the treatment could be disrupted.
Minimizing stress for patients is an essential part of healthcare during the pandemic. Coronavirus anxiety hinders life quality and interferes with the course of many treatments. E-prescribe can minimize contact thus relieving some of this anxiety and keeping patients on the right treatment path.
5. Reducing Hospital Readmissions
During major case spikes, COVID-19 lands thousands in hospitals. Healthcare professionals are strained to provide services to all patients who need urgent care. Meanwhile, patients who could be getting treatment at home are being readmitted to hospitals. When prescriptions can be filled electronically, medication adherence improves by about 10% thus reducing serious cases and hospital readmissions.
6. Keeping Up with Disinfection
Coronavirus can spread through different surfaces, such as wood, glass, and plastic. With COVID-19 surviving on paper for up to 28 days, it’s another way to contract the disease. When it comes to writing a prescription, at least three people (doctor, patient, and pharmacist) handle the same piece of paper.
By the time the prescription ends up in the pharmacy’s files, it may pass the virus to numerous people, including the patient’s family and various pharmacy workers.
Furthermore, during the pandemic, clinics and practices have to maximize their cleaning and disinfection efforts in order to keep both patients and doctors safe. This requires extra investments in cleaning supplies, protective equipment, and the workforce.
7. Speeding Up the Refill Process
Getting a prescription filled in a timely manner can make a difference between recovery and hospital readmission. With manual prescription writing, it can take a patient a few days to get the prescription refilled.
During the pandemic, timely medical assistance is especially important due to the increased vulnerability of patients with chronic diseases, immunodeficiency and mental health concerns like depression.
By using e-prescribe, outpatient care providers can help vulnerable patients groups minimize contact and get their prescriptions filled faster.
8. Adjusting the Course of Treatment
With a handwritten prescription, a doctor can’t find out whether a patient is filling it as required. Failure to fill the prescription could lead to serious consequences during the pandemic and beyond.
With e-prescribe, a doctor can find out when the prescription is filled and adjust the course of treatment if necessary.
E-Prescribe and COVID: Staying Safe
E-prescribe is an essential tool for all practices staying open during the COVID-19 pandemic. It minimizes contact, speeds up the prescription filling process, keeps patients from at risk groups safer, reduces hospital readmissions, and helps alleviate the COVID-19 anxiety.
By taking advantage of e-prescribe software, your practice can streamline its telehealth package and improve patient satisfaction.
If you’d like to learn more about e-prescribe and COVID, please contact us to speak with a team member or schedule a live demo.