E-prescribing: This Web site can help you pitch your Rx pad

March 14, 2008

You're under growing pressure to e-prescribe, but how do you get started? An interactive website co-sponsored by organized medicine walks you through the steps.

You’re under growing pressure to e-prescribe, but how do you get started? An interactive Web site co-sponsored by organized medicine walks you through the steps.

The site, called GetRxConnected.com, has learning paths for two different kinds of physicians-those who have an EHR, and those who don’t. If you still operate with paper records, the site recommends several EHRs with an e-prescribing capability, or several stand-alone e-prescribing programs, depending on your preference (there’s also a buyer’s guide to consult). If you already have an EHR, you’ll find out whether it’s certified for a two-way connection with pharmacies through a pharmacy-industry group called SureScripts. The Web site gives you advice for working with your EHR vendor to turn on that connection.

GetRxConnected.com drives home the point that faxing a prescription from your EHR to the pharmacy isn’t true e-prescribing; the scrip has to go directly from your computer to the pharmacy’s via a technology called electronic data interchange, or EDI. As of Jan. 1, 2009, you’ll no longer be able to fax Medicare Part D prescriptions that are computer generated. You’ll still be able to print a computer-generated prescription to give to the patient, although that prerogative could disappear under pending legislation in Congress that would require e-prescribing for Medicare patients starting in 2011 (see "Bill requires e-prescribing for Medicare, pay cuts for non-compliance," InfoTech Bulletin, Jan. 25, 2008). Doctors who don’t e-prescribe would face a pay cut.

GetRxConnected.com is a joint venture of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Medical Group Management Association, and the Center for Improving Medication Management.

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