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e-Prescribing Facilitates Patient Safety and Better Health Outcomes

Posted on May 24, 2016 by Bobbi Reinholdt

Canadian pharmacists fill 600 million prescriptions each year, and 44 per cent of those are handwritten. That’s a lot of potentially illegible prescriptions and it’s just one reason why it’s time for an e-prescribing solution in Canada.

e-Prescribing, or eRx, enables clinicians to electronically transmit a prescription to a patient’s pharmacy of choice. And the simple act of replacing a paper or faxed prescription with an electronic prescription that arrives at the pharmacy before you do comes with many benefits, such as:

  • Improved patient safety and privacy
    • Significant reduction in transcription (or data entry) errors of both typed or handwritten prescriptions
    • Reduction in privacy breaches when a prescription is no longer faxed to a wrong number or a paper prescription is lost
  • Less fraud and abuse of medications, such as narcotics
    • It is more difficult to falsify electronic records and almost impossible to steal/divert electronic prescriptions.
  • Better health outcomes
    • Better compliance – A Quebec study found 31 per cent of first-time prescriptions were not filled within nine months. This suggests that often neither the prescriber nor the pharmacy may be aware that the patient is not taking his or her medication.
      • Improved medication adherence (especially among patients with chronic conditions) leads to fewer emergency department visits and re-hospitalizations
    • Increased convenience through electronic prescriptions
      • Results in lower wait times and increased patient/caregiver satisfaction

This is why Canada Health Infoway is developing a multi-jurisdiction e-prescribing solution, with the help of funding from the federal government. What are your thoughts? Is it time for an e-prescribing solution in Canada? We’d love to hear from you.

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Bobbi ReinholdtBobbi Reinholdt

As a senior executive with more than 25 years of experience in the pharmacy/drug retail industry, Bobbi has executive experience in pharmacy, operations, information technology and human resources.

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