E-prescribing: Technology eases pain

Q. How can I best address widespread errors reported due to insufficient documentation?
Monday, February 22, 2016

A. The concept of the clinical application of information technology to help healthcare providers streamline and enhance patient care is far from new. In a 2010 study conducted by the Journal of Health Services Research and Policy on medication errors involving prescribing errors, 64.4% of errors could be prevented by electronic prescribing.  

Just as electronic prescribing medications has effectively improved the efficiency and accuracy of prescribing in the ambulatory care setting, similar efficiencies in the HME industry must be deployed to decrease prescribing errors and to include appropriate documentation. 

Standardization of documentation requirements via electronic ordering technology is the most reliable way of addressing the needs for HME suppliers to receive complete, clean, detailed written orders and effectively reduce the error rate. Utilization of an electronic ordering platform provides appropriate education to a practice to best ensure payer guidelines and coverage for the HME item as prescribed. Furthermore, electronic ordering is compliant with the ever-changing regulatory climate and thereby assists with patient compliance. 

This desired path to electronically sharing health information saves practices and supplier providers alike countless hours of unreimbursed time and unnecessary costs managing back and forth telephone calls, incoming/outgoing faxes and laborious signature forms, as well as patient interactions on “how best” to obtain home-based medical equipment and supplies.  It just makes sense.

Ken Majkowski is the chief strategy officer at Stratice Healthcare. Reach him at kmajkowski@stratice.com.