States are moving towards Electronic Prescriptions to fight the opioid abuse in America..Electronic Prescriptions or E-Prescribing is a prescriber’s ability to electronically send an accurate, error-free and understandable prescription directly to a pharmacy. This is an important element in improving the quality of patient care. Adopting the standards to facilitate e-prescribing is one of the key action items in the government’s plan to expedite the adoption of electronic medical records and build a national electronic health information infrastructure in the United States.
Prescriptions are traditionally written on slips of special paper, which are handed to patients on their way to the pharmacies.In New York those days are over. Doctors must prescribe drugs electronically, that means anything from antibiotics to blood pressure medicines, and painkillers. Those who do not use the e-script system face penalties.
State regulators claim the new regulations were designed to reduce abuse of painkillers,opioid abuse, and to reduce errors when prescriptions are filled. Currently, 60 percent of all prescription orders nationwide are filed through electronic systems, and the process is gaining popularity in recent years.
New York recently required the use of E-Prescribing and has become the second state to require this. It’s the first state to assess consequences to physicians who do not adhere to the new guidelines.
Noncompliant prescribers could be subject to fines, loss of license, or jail.
This provision of the law took effect on March 27, 2016.
New York’s aiming at reducing over prescribing of opioids and preventing paper prescription fraud. They log an online registry that tracks a patient’s history of opioid use. In 2011 Minnesota was the first state to require electronic prescribing. Two other states Maine and Massachusetts are also considering similar requirements.
An article by My Heath Watch stated that currently there are more than 2 million accidental prescription related incidents each year—130,000 which prove to be life-threatening. A review of 47 sources found that electronic prescriptions reduced error by 1/7th of their previous level—and can decrease the need for patient visits saving, a minimum of $140 billion dollars over the next decade.