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E-prescribing: Be open to change 

E-prescribing: Be open to change 

Ken HodelQ. What are some of the obstacles to adoption of e-prescribe for DME? 

A. Electronic prescribing of medications and lab tests has been a part of the health care ecosystem for almost 20 years. E-prescribe has been proven to improve quality of care, reduce errors and lower administrative costs. So why hasn’t e-prescribe for durable medical equipment taken off? 

The first reason is simple and it’s the same issue many DME providers deal with in their own organizations – resistance to change. Whether it’s uncertainty, loss of control or any number of other reasons, people are inherently resistant to change. That dynamic is amplified in health care, where the general perception of technology is that it is an inhibitor that slows clinicians down and creates more work for them. 

Another reason is that e-prescribing of DME is significantly more complex than e-prescribing of medications or labs. DME providers require more than just a signed prescription to get paid for their services. Payer qualification guidelines and the need for documentation that supports medical necessity add a layer of complexity that results in more “clicks” for the health care provider user entering the order. In addition to those “clicks,” the user must enter the required prescription elements, like patient name, date of birth, delivery and phone number, and they often come away with the perception that continuing to fax orders is easier than using a DME e-prescribe platform. 

Finally, the e-prescribe of medications is typically a highly integrated workflow that is tightly coupled with the health care provider’s EHR system. E-prescribe of medications has set a high bar for creating a seamless experience that is transparent to the user. While this type of integrated and seamless experience can be replicated with some DME e-prescribe platforms, it is typically a health system by health system effort that transpires over weeks or months. 

Ken Hodel is vice president of development for DMEScripts. Reach him at [email protected]

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