A NEW KIND OF Rx: E-Prescribing

Posted on: March 6, 2015

A NEW KIND OF Rx: E-Prescribing

By Dr. Brian Blaufeux

UPDATE — as of Friday 3/13/15, the mandate for electronic prescriptions has been extended to March 27 of 2016.

In case you hadn’t heard, your prescription routine is about to change–permanently. Getting a prescription used to mean your doctor would scribble something unintelligible on a paper pad and you’d deliver it to your pharmacist. In New York, beginning March 27, 2015, all prescriptions will be electronic, and you’ll never get that scrap of paper again.

Electronic prescribing, also called e-prescribing, is the computer-based electronic generation, transmission, and filling of a prescription that replaces paper and faxed prescriptions.

In New York,
as of March 27, 2015, 2016
all prescriptions will be electronic

Why the change?
There are a few reasons to ditch the old prescription pad. Doctors and pharmacists both hope to eliminate errors that might have crept in through illegible scrawls. Also, when a doctor enters a patient’s prescription electronically, the system can flag any possible negative drug interactions. Another important advantage to electronic prescribing is that New York State drug enforcement officials will be better able to crack down on over-prescribing and abuse of prescription narcotics–in fact, that’s the primary reason the state passed the law requiring the change.

You’ll be happy to know that it will actually make the whole prescription process much simpler for patients. Your doctor will electronically submit your prescription to the pharmacy you use, and your medications should be ready for you when you arrive. So don’t worry if your doctor leaves out the scrap of paper when he or she gives you a new prescription.

Editor’s Note: Brian Blaufeux, MD is Chief Medical Informatics Officer at Northern Westchester Hospital.