5 reasons why e-Rx (electronic prescription) is better than paper Rx

The industry has picked up the pace to improve the way doctors communicate with patients and redefine healthcare delivery.

Prescription Medicine Doctor
Picture: Pixabay

Last Updated on May 29, 2022 by The Health Master

5 reasons why e-Rx (electronic prescription) is better than paper Rx

With widespread digital transformations across sectors, C-19 has expedited the move towards a digitally-driven world, and healthcare is no exception.

New-age technologies such as AI (Artificial intelligence), Machine Learning (ML), IoT, Big Data, and many others, have catalyzed digital adoption and progress in the healthcare as well as pharma space.

The industry has picked up the pace to improve the way doctors communicate with patients and redefine healthcare delivery.

One such innovation that has rapidly gained momentum across the health space is the electronic prescription, or e-Rx.

Simply put, an e-Rx is the digital version of a paper prescription created by healthcare practitioners or doctors.

These electronic prescriptions can be digitally generated, transmitted directly to a pharmacy, and stored in the patient’s mobile, laptop, or tablet as an EHR (Electronic Health Record) technology.

E-Rx is fast replacing age-old paper prescriptions and has proved beneficial across the globe.

It has outpaced the benefits of hand-written prescriptions, cross-checking the prescribed medicines, finding alternatives in case of unavailability, and many others.

No Room for Error

Unlike hand-written prescriptions, e-Rx are legible and clear in terms of understanding the treatment and dosage, which makes them error-free.

Pharmacists don’t have to spend time decoding the prescription and can fulfill orders quickly.

Several prescriptions mention drugs that have similar spellings or sounds or an incorrect dose.

Misinterpretation of medicines or instructions can deteriorate the patient’s medical condition. However, e-Rx eliminates medication and prescription errors and ensures patient health safety.

Cannot be Lost or Misplaced

Paper Rx is easy to lose or misplace, but e-Rx are stored as EHR on the patients’ device or cloud. Hence, they are easily available and cannot be lost.

As soon as the patient receives an e-Rx from the doctor, they can forward the same to the pharmacist without having to keep track of the piece of paper.

If a handwritten prescription is lost, the patient may need to revisit the doctor or call him for a new one which causes a delay in the treatment.

Since e-Rx is based on electronic technology, the patient can easily maintain his/her medical record and revisit old prescriptions when needed.

Less Time Spent on Filling Prescriptions

Pharmacies are often occupied with people and phone calls from patients, all at once.

An e-Rx streamlines and accelerates the process as the pharmacist scans the prescription in a matter of seconds and hands out the medicines to the patient without any error or delay.

Patients who are injured, immunocompromised or old can benefit significantly from e-Rx by simply forwarding it to their local pharmacist instead of going out to hand them the paper Rx.

This expedites the process, enhances efficiency, reduces the long queues in front of pharmacies, and improves customer experience.

It eliminates forgery of Prescriptions

Handwritten prescriptions can easily be forged and misused to obtain drugs for substance abuse, illegal selling of certain medications, etc.

Several people generate fake prescriptions or make changes to the dose to obtain more drugs.

But when doctors prescribe medicines digitally, they ensure that the prescriptions are not misused to obtain drugs illegally, thereby putting an end to criminal forgery of prescriptions and drug abuse.

Better treatment and diagnosis

E-Rx gives doctors access to patients’ old medical records that may contain documented allergies and previously prescribed drugs.

This will help doctors make informed decisions in case a patient is taking duplicate therapies or any other issues/conditions that would preclude a patient from taking a particular drug.

E-Prescriptions also help minimize medication error risk and adverse drug events resulting from manual / handwritten prescribing errors and further improve patient safety and quality of care.

Also, e-Rx lead to better health outcomes because of improved legibility of prescriptions, hence improving adherence.

Bottom line

An E-Rx not only streamlines the entire prescription process but also saves time, eliminates medication and dosage errors, and enhances the patient experience.

In an industry where each second can be life-giving or life-threatening, e-Rx can help save that essential time and improve patient outcomes.

Digitization across the sector can help transform operations, develop innovations and transform the entire healthcare landscape.

By Gaurav Gupta, Co-founder, Navia Life Care

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely those of the author, and The Health Master does not necessarily subscribe to them. The Health Master shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person or organisation, directly or indirectly.

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