E-prescribing provides dentists with many advantages. The most obvious is that it improves their workflow by giving them the ability to electronically select medications and send them directly to the pharmacy, thus bypassing the traditional manual processes of faxing, phone calls and handing paper to the pharmacy. However, the most significant advantage is that that e-prescribing allows dentists to improve the safety and quality of care they provide. Consider the patients in dental chairs who have numerous medical problems and can’t remember all their medications. With electronic prescribing, it’s very easy to push a button and have a list of all medications prescribed from different sources that they are presently taking.
Access to patient medication history during the prescribing process gives dentists better information about home medications and meds prescribed by other physicians. Combining medication history with automated clinical decision support such as formulary compliance, dose checking, drug-to-drug, drug-to-allergy, drug-to-condition and duplicate therapy alerts helps remind dentists when there might be an increased risk of over-prescribing, or prescribing medications and combinations that may cause adverse drug events. Accessing patient medication history at the point of care also helps dentists more easily identify potential doctor shoppers, particularly in the controlled substance category, thus helping to stem prescription misuse.