Top 7 Reasons for Dentists to E-Prescribe

December 8, 2017

Charles C. Chen, DDS

Top 7 Reasons for Dentists to E-Prescribe

Dentists may not write as many prescriptions as physician practices, but they can still benefit from the many advantages of electronic prescribing, including being more responsive to patient needs and avoiding drug interactions or allergies. Mobile e-prescribing makes these benefits available wherever you are.

I recently spoke with Howard Farran, host of the Dentaltown podcast, on the safety and efficiency of mobile e-prescribing. Here’s a summary of that conversation, and the top 7 reasons for dentists to e-prescribe:

1. Comply with state and federal mandates.

Dentists frequently prescribe pain medications, so you need to be up to date on the latest rules and regulations around controlled substances. Starting January 1, 2022, the SUPPORT Act requires all controlled substance prescriptions under Medicare’s Part D drug plan to be transmitted electronically. At the state level, EPCS is being mandated by a number of states, along with requirements for checking prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs). E-prescribing not only helps you stay compliant with these state and federal laws but also helps you identify drug abuse and diversion, which has gone a long way toward managing the opioid crisis.

2. Write and renew prescriptions anywhere, anytime.

One major benefit of mobile e-prescribing is that it gives you the ability to respond to emergencies after hours. If you’re out of the office when a patient calls, some apps will allow you to view his or her medication history and check your state’s PDMP, all from a smartphone or tablet. You don’t have to worry about which pharmacy the patient uses, because their preferred pharmacy will be listed.

3. Improve patient safety.

Paper prescriptions can cause problems due to illegible handwriting, unclear abbreviations, patients losing the paper, or pharmacies incorrectly entering the dentist’s orders. Those problems can all be corrected with e-prescribing. When prescriptions don’t need to be deciphered or re-entered at the pharmacy, it reduces the risk of errors and improves patient safety. Automatic alerts are another way e-prescribing keeps patients safe. When you write a new prescription, an instant alert will pop up if there is any danger of an interaction with other medications the patient is taking. It works the same way for drug allergies. Within seconds, data from hospital records, pharmacy records, insurance records, and doctors’ records is all available to help prevent adverse drug reactions.

4. Save prescribing history automatically.

No matter where you are when you write a new prescription or renewal, that information can be saved in the app so you have a reminder of the prescriptions you wrote while away from the office.

5. Simplify prescribing workflows.

Dentists have been required to meet various technology mandates in recent years, such as the use of electronic records, despite the fact that many of us are not very computer-savvy. For dentists who struggle with complex systems, mobile e-prescribing is a welcome change because the workflow can be so simple. With some systems, it takes only a few taps to select a medication, write and sign the prescription, and send it to the pharmacy. Medications you prescribe frequently are at the top of the list, so you don’t have to scroll or search.

6. Patient information is protected.

When I talk about mobile e-prescribing, people often ask, “What happens if you lose your mobile phone?” Well, because information is stored on the cloud, no patient information is on the phone itself. So even if your phone is stolen or hacked, patient data remains secure, and you stay compliant with HIPAA requirements.

7. Setup and support are quick and easy.

Download the iPrescribe app in seconds and get set up in minutes without buying or installing any hardware or changing your normal workflow. While some systems take days or hours to verify your identity, the iPrescribe process requires less than 10 minutes via, a national leader in identity-proofing. If you do need support, DrFirst has a team available 24/7 to help.

About Charles C. Chen, DDS
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Dr. Charles C. Chen is chief dental officer at DrFirst and a periodontist at ZCYW Perio in Maryland. He has taught a post-graduate Periodontal Residency Program, conducted connective tissue research, and received a U.S. patent on bone/tissue regeneration. He is currently involved in federal and state initiatives to shape regulations on digitizing dental records to promote patient safety in prescription drugs.