We’re living in a world that’s more and more technologically driven. Digital technology influences our daily lives in a myriad of ways. And yet, in the world of prescription medicine, fax machines and paper prescription pads still reign supreme.
Every year, Canadians fill over 600 million prescriptions to help treat both chronic and acute illnesses. It’s essential to our collective health and well-being that these prescriptions be filled promptly and accurately. Having the right systems and technology in place can help ensure that we get it right.
We have a tremendous opportunity to leverage technology, just as we do in every other part of our lives, to make health care better — specifically, to make the prescribing and dispensing of medications safer, more efficient, and more practical.
Harnessing tech for better patient care
Today, 97% of prescriptions are communicated from doctor to pharmacist via fax, phone, or paper. The system isn’t exactly ideal.
An estimated four million Canadians deal with a lost or damaged prescription each year. Replacing those prescriptions is a drain on the time and resources of doctors, pharmacists, and patients, to the tune of over $35 million. What’s worse, roughly 20% of those lost or damaged prescriptions are never replaced at all. That’s more than 700,000 Canadians going without the medication they need.
Furthermore, issues with faxes not going through, illegible handwriting, and incomplete information often result in extensive phone tag between already overworked pharmacists and doctors to ensure that the right medication is dispensed.
Roughly 20% of lost or damaged prescriptions are never replaced.
No more Band-Aid solutions
There must be a better way to ensure the workflow is both efficient for prescribers and safe for patients.
Fortunately, there is. Technology that enables electronic prescribing and dispensing of medications is available, and it’s allowing doctors and pharmacists to improve patient care by leaps and bounds.
The leading solution for modernizing the prescribing process in Canada is PrescribeIT®, a national e-prescribing service developed by Canada Health Infoway, a not-for-profit agency funded by Health Canada. It allows prescribers to securely transmit digital prescriptions directly to a patient’s preferred pharmacy using a system that interfaces seamlessly with electronic medical records and pharmacy management systems.
Improving communication, security, and more
PrescribeIT® also provides a direct channel for clinical communication between prescribers and pharmacists, which is an especially beneficial feature in the midst of today’s opioid crisis.
With PrescribeIT®, prescriptions are received directly into the pharmacy management system as data.
The technology reduces the risk of privacy breaches, as transmission is secure, private and directed to the patient’s pharmacy of choice. Lost or damaged prescriptions become a thing of the past. It allows prescribers and pharmacists to collaborate with ease and facilitates communication through features built into the technology addressing a number of the challenges seen in the current prescribing landscape.
Revolutionizing health care
In short, PrescribeIT® is revolutionizing health care by improving the way that medications are both prescribed and dispensed.
Canadian pharmacists and prescribers are finally harnessing the power of digital health solutions. As PrescribeIT® continues to be adopted by more and more pharmacies and health care providers, patients across the country are benefitting from better and safer medication access than ever before.
Pharmacists who champion this innovative technology and work to bring it to their pharmacies are changing the health care game — effectively being the heroes that our health care system needs.