Due to the Affordable Healthcare Act or commonly known as Obamacare, the Medicare and Medicaid system is making in mandatory that healthcare providers use the e-prescribing system or be penalized. Healthcare providers were required, as of June 30, 2014, to meet a deadline for them to send at least 10 e-prescriptions to pharmacies for their Medicare patients using the government's EMR/HITECH system of they would be subject to a 2% reduction in their reimbursement from the federal health program. However, there are Medicare and Medicaid incentive programs in place, for participating in the Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program, that uses a combination of payments and adjustments to encourage healthcare professional to use this program.

A few of the e-prescribing benefits, includes improving higher drug substitutions or generic drugs at a pace which saves time and improves the efficiency of information for the physician, pharmacy, and patients. Removes the possibility of errors due to a pharmacist being unable to read a physician's handwriting. It reduces the amount of time spent on the telephone with calls and faxes to the pharmacy, it is a mobile system that will soon reach every 50 states and beyond. Also, third party insurance coverage information is available with a keystroke.

E-prescribing further streamlines refill requests because refills can be made with one simple click, especially when there is access to a whole network of pharmaceutical providers. There are no more wait times for prescriptions and trips to the pharmacy. An additional benefit of implementing electronic health information records and prescribing technology, are its ability to save lives, to prevent patient errors by providing direct access to a patient's whole medical history, and the benefit for the government is to save billions of dollars in expenditures.

Pharmacy systems only need to choose a e-prescribing Internet software vendor that supplies a gateway or hub for transmission. This type of system supplies a two-way transmission line between physicians and pharmacies. By including a wireless mobile device cuts transmission time in half, when a desktop PC, a laptop, a pocket PC, a tablet, or a PDA is utilized. Most pharmacies, including small independent ventures, already have some form of a web system in place, that supports integration with a e-prescribing network intermediary.

The schematic use for healthcare professionals includes a username and password authentication, even though advancement is making use of random number Ids, digital certificates, and fingerprint readers. When the healthcare provider has been authenticated, then the prescribing system provides specific functional instructions for their authorization levels. Different healthcare staff will have different legal permission to enter, review, or modify a patient's prescription. On the pharmacy side, once they receive the prescription requirements from the physician's hub center, then they send back a confirmation.

Presently, all pharmacy systems are able to send information back to the healthcare provider that a prescription has been filled. Both pharmacists and physicians have requested that the e-prescribing systems include information that will help them know when a patient picks up their prescription or if the patient is late in picking up the prescriptions, only because this helps physicians and patients better manage their health care.

There are already big players in the field of e-prescribing that is supplying computer support and services. E-prescribing is more than electronic data transfers and drug dispensing, it is part of a system wide solution for physicians' to monitor patient compliance with their medication orders, all done through a national database that provides physicians with pharmacy based medication history on their patients. The future of e-prescriptions is in coalitions coming together, like health plans, payers, and providers, to co-fund expansion programs.

The publication of the Journal of American Medical Association (“JAMA”), has reported that the electronic transmission of prescriptions has grown exponentially, but that advancement in technical standards and system designs are still required. Start-up ventures are flooding the e-prescribing market to improve the two-way e-communication tools that are vitally important to pharmacies and physicians. Technical standards to support this technology are being incorporated into existing e-script regulations.

Have the leading technology companies joined the support of e-prescribing – the answer is yes, a coalition of the top global named technology companies and healthcare organizations have partnered to provide an initiative to get free electronic prescribing systems into the offices of every physician in the U.S. Its coalition name is The National e-Prescribing Patient Safety Initiative, which supports a solution to the medication errors that harm millions of people every year.


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