Technology truly seems to have no boundaries as it continues to evolve and force every industry to transform and change in order to keep up. The health administration field is a great example of one that is going through its fair share of changes thanks to technological advances. Today, it seems as though e-prescriptions may just be the next big thing to overtake the industry, as it is already causing quite the stir, despite the fact it is in its infancy.
For those who are currently enrolled in an online masters in health administration at a prestigious school such as Maryville University, the move towards e-prescriptions comes as no surprise. The university’s online MHA degree program places a strong emphasis on e-prescription technology. So, what happens if you’re already in the field, how big will e-prescriptions be? Will they really transform the industry? Let’s examine them closer.
What are E-Prescriptions?
Unless you are enrolled in a current MHA degree program or you’ve recently graduated, there’s a strong possibility you have no training in e-prescriptions, the technology used, or the software. These e-prescriptions make it possible for medical practitioners and physicians to write and also send out prescriptions in electronic form. There is no need to print it out on paper or fax it. It completely digitizes the process using specialized software.
As a healthcare administrator, it won’t be your job to write these prescriptions, but you will most likely need to know how to send them using the correct software and technology.
Digitizing the process has all kinds of benefits, such as not having to rely on paper, allowing a prescription to be refilled by the doctor without actually having to make an appointment, providing a way to view patient history, manage medications, and so much more. This form of writing prescriptions is also cutting down on the number of medication errors that can occur when a prescription is hand-written.
It can also be integrated with the electronic medical record system, which as a health administrator, you deal with on a regular basis.
From a cost standpoint, it’s working to lower operational costs. This means money can be spent elsewhere in places it is more useful.
Becoming Law in Some Areas
Not only is it becoming more commonplace due to its benefits, it seems as if it’s also becoming the law depending on the state. Just last year, the state of New York made it illegal for doctors to use hand-written prescriptions. The system became paperless in an effort to cut down on medical errors. The prescriptions are sent directly to the pharmacies, so the patient never actually holds a note or piece of paper.
As of last year, about 60% of prescriptions nationwide were being sent in electronic format, but that still leaves a lot to go. There has been a real push in the healthcare community to get this number higher and start passing laws across the country. What this means for those in the healthcare industry is that it’s time to familiarize themselves with the technology and software.