The days of handwritten, faxed prescriptions and renewal requests are over or at least, numbered. More Canadian physicians and pharmacists are moving to e-prescriptions and it’s easy to see why. PrescribeIT®, Canada Health Infoway’s electronic prescribing service, integrates with electronic medical record (EMR) platforms and pharmacy management systems (PMS), – making the prescription and renewal process faster, easier and more accurate.
In a webinar hosted by PrescribeIT®, a physician and pharmacist shared their personal experiences working with Canada’s national e-prescribing service, and discussed the impact it had on their workflows and patient care.
Dr. Neil Naik, a physician in Waterloo, Ontario, was one of the first adopters of PrescribeIT® in the area. For Dr. Naik, the decision to move to e-prescribing was about workflow efficiency. “The process was adding time to our workday,” he says. “My staff would fax prescriptions, deal with fax failures, and sometimes even have to hand-deliver prescriptions to the pharmacy. PrescribeIT eliminates the logistical work and gives them more time with our patients.”
For Abhay Patel, a pharmacist with four pharmacies serving Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, there is a dramatic difference between clinics that use PrescribeIT® and those that don’t. “We see a lot of fax failures with multiple practices. There are issues with software programs not integrating well with our systems. Every clinic has a different process – some still require paper prescriptions. With PrescribeIT®, we have no issues.”
Direct messaging enables tighter collaboration.
Previously, questions or concerns about a prescription meant the pharmacist had to go through clinic staff before reaching Dr. Naik. The direct messaging feature of PrescribeIT® connects the physician and pharmacy eliminating the middle person, which not only saves time but also helps improve clinical collaboration.
“Pharmacists like Abhay are part of our care team,” says Dr. Naik. “They’re a port of call for patients who may have questions about their medications. With PrescribeIT®, pharmacists can easily send messages right to my inbox. This collaboration is incredibly beneficial.”
Prescription renewals in minutes.
One of the biggest benefits is the ease of renewing prescriptions. In the past, a pharmacist would fax a prescription renewal request to clinic staff, who would add it to the patient’s profile, and send the request to the physician for approval before faxing it back. “Now the request comes directly to me from the pharmacy. I approve it, e-send it back, and the patient’s profile is automatically updated in the EMR,” says Dr. Naik.
A new layer of service in patient care.
The ability to transmit prescription information electronically gives physicians and pharmacists a new layer of service for patients. The prescription is transmitted through a password-protected, encrypted channel to the patient’s pharmacy of choice, keeping patient data more secure than a paper or faxed prescription. And it’s very convenient. When asked what his patients say about e-prescriptions, Dr. Naik simply replied, “Wow, that was fast!”
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