Many industries across the globe have adopted the digitisation of their systems, from manufacturing to service industries. There’s a lot to be gained from digitising a system, whether it’s faster and more accurate service delivery, or better record keeping and fewer errors from manual recording. In the last few years, companies have developed increasingly sophisticated software for digitising systems, including software for prescribing medicine. This innovation will change the healthcare system and how healthcare is provided to patients, offering a more efficient system.
History of Medical Prescription
In the past, medical prescriptions have been strictly manual, with the final prescription having to be physically written, typed, or printed into the patient’s medical record. Digital medical prescriptions allow your doctor to electronically prescribe medicine to the patient’s pharmacist. The pharmacist immediately receives an electronic copy of the prescription. With digital prescriptions, there’s no lag time. The prescription will automatically reflect in the patient’s medical records.
Digital medical prescriptions are increasingly being adopted in the healthcare industry, including dentists. As 2018 sees more healthcare services using this e-prescription software, it’s important to look at the benefits and disadvantages of using e-prescriptions. This ensures the technology is a help, not a hindrance to providing world-class healthcare.
There are several benefits to be found from medical prescriptions going digital. These include:
Instant Allergy Notification
No longer will a doctor have to ask a patient if they are allergic to a medicine and hope the patient remembers their allergy history. With digital prescriptions, a doctor will have instant access to a patient’s drug allergy information, which allows them to prescribe the right medicine without fear of allergic reactions.
Extra protection for dental patients
This is particularly important for dentists, because a patient’s medical history is often overlooked at the dental clinic. The patient thinks they’re just there for their teeth, so it doesn’t occur to them to give the dentist important health information, like blood groups or allergies. Even if the dentist is careful enough to ask, some key details may slip through. Digital prescriptions prevent.
Track Prescriptions Patients Buy
Tracking allows doctors to follow up on patient prescription. They can see whether the patient actually bought the drug, how much of it they bought, and how frequently they renew their prescription. Some patients forget to buy their medication, while others abuse their prescriptions by taking too much. Doctors can use tracking data to advise patients on healthy medicine management. The doctor can also see what medication the patient used in the past, and this can help the doctor decide on the best medicine to offer this time around.
Seamless Insurance Verification
One of the biggest barriers to treatment is insurance. Even when patients are covered, there are delays as the hospital and clinic calls the medical insurance company to confirm treatment limits. This is rampant in dental clinics, because not all insurers cover dental care. Those that offer dental cover still have stringent conditions and tight limits. With a digital prescription system, medical professional save time and money, since they can instantly see what form of treatment and medication is valid under their patient’s insurance package.
Enhanced Pharmacy Efficiency
With digitised medical prescriptions errors, from illegible or lost prescriptions are eliminated. Instead, prescriptions are electronically delivered to pharmacies, who can prepare them in advance, ready for the patient to pick up. This efficiency will result in a better service for patients, who will get their medicine faster.
Catch Prescription Errors
With manual medical prescriptions, dosage inconsistencies are easy to miss. What the doctor prescribes and what the manufacturer recommends can be quite different, with harmful results. Furthermore, multiple drugs can adversely interact with each other if administered at the same time. With digitised medical prescriptions, these errors can be identified and corrected.
There are some notable disadvantages to digital medical prescription.
Faulty Software Design
Poorly designed e-prescription software can increase the number of errors in medical prescription. If the user journey is too complex, doctors, dentists, and pharmacists may not know where to access the data they need. Poorly designed user interphases can make software impossible to use, even after comprehensive training. In other cases, the health care professional might be unable to correctly input data. All this could lead to a bad experience for the patient.
For e-prescription software to be effective, it needs to be able to communicate with other software and devices. Networking congruence within the healthcare sector ensures accurate dissemination of data. When devices are incompatible, the e-prescription software cannot read or understand data being transmitted from another location. This makes its ability to provide reliable or timely information significantly weaker.
There are many benefits to be gained from digitising medical prescriptions. Digitisation can result in cost savings, faster delivery of medicine, and much more. But it is important that the medical prescription software design is thoroughly thought through and tested, to ensure it functions as it should.