Telehealth encompasses a broad variety of technologies and tactics to deliver virtual medical, health, and education services. Since a telehealth providers may not know their patients personally, it is important to have “checks and balances” on treatment procedures. E-Prescribing is rapidly growing in the telehealth field, not just because of the technology, but because of the substantial benefits for patient’s safety and physicians’ workflow. The advantages of e-prescribing for telehealth providers are numerous:
- Prevents prescription drug errors — e-Prescribing eliminates handwriting errors/illegibility and gives both physician and pharmacist access to a patient’s prescription history to reduce the chance of the wrong drug being dispensed.
- Speeds up the medication reconciliation process — clinicians can instantly view a patient’s medication history and won’t have to manually reconcile medication lists or commit clinical information to memory, such as drug-drug interactions.
- Instant notification of allergies, drug interactions, duplicate therapies and other clinical alerts — e-Prescribing gives physicians full visibility into all of a patient’s documented allergies and previously prescribed drugs and will trigger clinical alerts if a newly prescribed drug has any potential for negative reactions.
- Monitor controlled substances abuse — enables physicians to electronically prescribe and monitor controlled substances in a single workflow. With e-prescribing, physicians can track how many controlled substance prescriptions a patient has received, reducing the likelihood of over-prescribing or doctor shopping.
- Reduces the risk of readmissions –Built-in safety features such as clinical alerts and duplicate therapy alerts reduce the risk of adverse drug reactions. Roughly 20 percent of all hospital readmissions can be traced to adverse drug reactions.
- Improves medication adherence — Chronic underuse of medications is the most common form of non-adherence, with patients using a lower dose than was prescribed or prematurely stopping therapy.
- Makes it easier to verify insurance — E-Prescribing tools make it easier to choose formulary medications that will be covered by the patient’s drug benefit. Prescribing a drug the patient can afford makes it more likely that the patient will fill it and take it.