Posted on August 25, 2020 by Anne Baldwin
Archimedes said it best: the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. For physician Dr. Jeffrey Steed, this is all too true when it comes to prescribing. Based in Coaldale, AB, his clinic was looking for more efficient ways to get prescriptions to pharmacies.
“We were interested in finding a way to make prescribing a little easier,” he explains. In a fast-paced clinic, communicating with pharmacies through telephones and faxes proved less than ideal. Not only did it take time from busy days, it posed an inconvenience for his patients as well.
After learning about PrescribeIT®, Canada’s national e-prescribing service, during a physicians’ meeting, Dr. Steed decided to incorporate it into his practice.
PrescribeIT® takes information straight from an electronic medical record (EMR) and sends the data directly to a Pharmacy Management System (PMS). Pharmacists can also communicate with prescribers in turn; all communications are integrated directly into clinicians’ respective workflows, eliminating the need for communications via phone or fax. This functionality facilitates clinical collaboration between prescribers and pharmacists, allowing them to efficiently pose questions and request clarifications.
Smoother communication ultimately helps to ensure better health outcomes, particularly when it comes to complex prescriptions. “When we prescribe opiates, they often require a triplicate prescription,” Dr. Steed explains, “which can take quite a bit of time to do in the middle of a busy day.” By sending those prescriptions directly to a PMS, prescribers save time. They also help their patients stay safe. Paper prescriptions can be altered, copied or lost, but going digital helps eliminate those risks.
In another case, Dr. Steed recalls a patient with multiple medications. “She had actually recently seen a specialist who made several changes to her medications.” Rather than playing phone tag with her pharmacy, Dr. Steed was able to note the changes directly in his workflow. “It’s just a lot easier to be able to go into my EMR, make that change and submit it directly.”
Patients reap the benefits of that efficiency, too. PrescribeIT® sends prescription(s) directly to the patient’s pharmacy of choice. “They get to tell me exactly which pharmacy they want to use,” Dr. Steed says. And once they get there, there’s no need to worry about dropping off paper prescriptions and waiting or returning to pick up medications. “Patients have reported that they enjoy that [direct link].”
For Dr. Steed, the ability to engage directly with pharmacies has greatly benefited his time management. By eliminating intermediary steps and inefficient communication channels, he’s able to devote more time to his patients.
“PrescribeIT® has been a fantastic addition to our practice, and I definitely recommend it to other physicians.”
To learn more about Dr. Steed’s journey with PrescribeIT®, and to learn about other users’ experiences, watch our video series here.
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Anne Baldwin began her career as a nurse and has focused on digital health initiatives for the past few years and now is actively involved in PrescribeIT®.