E-prescribing is the ability to electronically send an accurate, error-free and understandable prescription directly to a pharmacy. Included in the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, it represents an important means to improve the quality of patient care and was. The July 2006 Institute of Medicine report on the role of e-prescribing in reducing medication errors expanded its popularity, which helped spread awareness of its benefits.
The adoption of standards to facilitate e-prescribing is one of the key action items in the plan to expedite the adoption on EMRs. The benefits of e-prescribing are many and include reducing illegibility; providing warning and alert systems, which reduce medication errors; and offering access to patients’ medical history. E-prescribing also reduces or eliminates phone calls and call-backs to pharmacies, eliminates faxes to pharmacies, streamlines the refill’s requests and authorization processes, and increases patient compliance.