Electronic Prescription Errors

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Preventable medical mistakes cause approximately 200,000 deaths around the United States each year. (1) More than 1,000,000 Americans are negatively impacted by medication errors each year caused by inadvertent mistakes in the prescription filling process. With 4 out of 5 adults taking at least 1 medication daily and 1 out of 4 adults taking 5 or more medications daily nationwide, errors like these cost healthcare industry billions of dollars per year. Health information technology were developed to transform healthcare services, the way they are provided and compensated. Electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) becomes an internal part of that transformation process, which can be confirmed from annual Surescripts’ National Progress Report.…show more content…
For starters, clinicians and pharmacists must have their e-prescribing software upgraded to meet standards set by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. This means contacting their software vendor. Many vendors will perform the upgrade at no cost although others charge for it. So far, only 4% of e-prescribers have had their software…show more content…
For example, Tennessee Exit Disclaimer initiated a partnership with the Tennessee Pharmacists Association to provide up to $675,000 in grants to 124 independent, community pharmacies to offset e-prescribing expenses. (4) Unsettled standards. Nationwide network still misses essential rules and standards for e-prescription messages and their validation, drug terminology and classification, application forms, medication lists and many other meeting points among physicians, pharmacies (both chain and independent) and providers. Uneducated clinicians and low PMP integration. 72% of primary care physicians are aware of their state’s PMP (prescription monitoring program), but only 53% of them use it due to time-consuming nature of information retrieval and the lack of an intuitive format for data provided by the programs. State government should consider an implementation of legal mandates, as well as investing in prescriber education, and taking measures to enhance ease of access to and use of the programs.

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