How to develop a successful e-prescription software
In the aftermath of COVID-19, the healthcare industry is embracing new and innovative technologies that promote telehealth. Telehealth or the use of digital and communication technologies to access healthcare services, grew dramatically when the pandemic was at its peak.
Healthcare providers, patients, and pharmacies alike discovered the speed and ease of use of e-prescriptions. Public Health Emergency waivers and telemedicine flexibilities gave a fillip to e-prescriptions, widening the scope for customized solutions. Today, the market outlook for e-prescription (eRx) systems and solutions is rosy:
- The global e-prescription software market, valued at 1.2 billion in 2020, is expected to reach $3.3 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 23.3% – Marketsandmarkets.com
- The global e-prescribing market size, estimated at $ 2.89 billion in 2022, is anticipated to witness a CAGR of 26.8% to reach $19.28 billion by 2030 – Grand View Research
- The annual growth rate of physicians reporting telemedicine as a skill doubled during the pandemic, increasing by 38% between 2019 and 2020 –Doximity
- In 2022, 2.3 billion e-prescriptions were filled in the US – Statista (Surescripts data)
- Around 40 percent of surveyed consumers say they will continue to use telehealth going forward—up from 11 percent of consumers using telehealth before COVID-19 – McKinsey & Company
As regulatory measures in the US strive to encourage telehealth trends, investments in virtual health companies are increasing. The healthcare industry is launching digital transformation projects to find winning models of e-prescription software development that will provide a sustainable competitive advantage. Hospital management, doctors, and patients need to understand why it is imperative to adopt e-prescription software solutions.
What is e-prescribing software & how does it help healthcare providers?
Traditional hand-written prescriptions involve manual work prone to errors such as misreading, misinterpretation, and lack of comprehension. At a basic level, e-prescriptions can be defined as paper-free, digitized generation, transmission, and filling of prescriptions online, through an app or an integrated system, on any device for optimal patient care and experience. However, if expertly designed, e-prescription software development can cater to other specific needs of users:
- Code can be written to enable physicians to see all the data related to the patient and offer medical advice holistically. Information on known allergies, medical history, previous treatment, and family diseases can help the doctor in decision-making.
- If integrated with the Electronic Medical Records and Electronic Health Records (EMR/EHR) of the patient, the doctor can also order lab tests and other investigations or even prescribe medications covered by the patient’s insurance.
- When the e-prescription software is integrated into the Practice Management System, healthcare providers can schedule appointments, handle medical billing, organize front office tasks like patient registration, and manage finances.
- If the e-prescription software development is entrusted to a responsible partner, healthcare providers can be assured of the best HIPAA-compliant customized e-prescription solutions that protect patient privacy, prevent liability, and increase stakeholders’ trust.
Thus, highly customized e-prescription software helps healthcare providers make e-prescribing an efficient, safe, speedy, and highly individualized exercise.
E Prescribing Process Flow Source
What are the key benefits of developing e-prescription software?
While some e-prescription software benefits for healthcare providers are mentioned above, there are other important benefits for all categories of users.
Saves cost: E-prescription software benefits accrue when practitioners club it with Formulary Decision Support at the point of prescription. Significant cost cuts are effected through recommendations made by the software for cheaper therapies, automated requests for refills, elimination of transcription errors, and decreased re-admissions.
Reduces forgery: E-prescriptions ensure an adequate supply of controlled substances for legitimate medical, scientific, research, and industrial purposes. This has reduced the forgery of prescriptions and abuse of controlled substances. When used with data gathered from Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, pharmacies can prevent abuse.
Boosts productivity: E-prescribing software development streamlines the workflow, automates insurance verification, saves time, and improves productivity. Another e-prescription benefit is that it is a billable telehealth activity, which can fetch revenues. As it provides easy documentation, clinicians can devote themselves to improving patient care.
Improves outcomes: E-prescription software benefits patient outcomes by extending access to medical care to patients who cannot come in for in-person consultations. Physicians can track medication adherence and respond to adverse drug events. At the same time, patients enjoy a higher level of satisfaction due to the convenience, help with the correct usage of drugs, timely refills, and access to affordable healthcare options.
What are the key E-prescription software features?
An e-prescription software features a host of functionalities to cater to healthcare providers, including hospitals, clinics, nurses, pharmacies, and patients. Any good e-prescription solution will comprise a simple user interface, a robust integration capability, a streamlined electronic prior authorization process, and mobile accessibility.
User interface: An intuitive dashboard that helps physicians, patients, and pharmacists access the various features is a primary e-prescription software feature. It allows the user to navigate to multiple sections. If a doctor typically enters notes and prescriptions and orders tests, a patient would access the prescription, information on medication, and dosage instructions. At the same time, a pharmacist would service drug orders and handle financial transactions.
Integration capability: While there are standalone e-prescription software, those built to integrate with other telemedicine software modules are the most effective customized e-prescription solutions. These include EHR, patient medical history, adverse reaction alerts, patient information management, clinical decision support, medication adherence tracking, and other features mentioned in different sections of this blog.
Electronic Prior Authorization (ePA): A key e-prescription software feature, ePA puts out a “Prior Authorization Alert Required’ notice and automatically sends patient and prescription information to the insurance provider. The pharmacist processes the order only after the insurance company reviews and approves it.
Mobile accessibility: Unless clinicians can access the e-prescription app or solution on the go, on devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops, it will not be of use in this day and age. So mobile accessibility is an invaluable e-prescription software feature that makes healthcare delivery seamless.
Tips & best practices for E-prescription software development
Now that you better understand the potential of e-prescription software development, it is time to learn some best practices. From our experience in developing customized healthcare solutions, we can share essential tips on how to build an excellent e-prescription software solution.
Identifying objectives: As with any software development, the first step in designing and developing e-prescription software is determining the primary outcome you want from the project. It may be tempting to opt for a standalone, cheaper app. However, there is merit in developing a solution that fits your unique requirements. Use the opportunity to correct your workflow if inefficiencies have crept in.
Research & planning: Explore the solutions already available in the market and study their pros and cons. If your budget is small, it is okay to pick some solutions and build customized modules that integrate with them. Rope in a software development partner who has strong domain expertise and a couple of completed projects to show.
Selecting key features: While the vital e-prescription features we dealt with earlier in the blog cannot be neglected, remember to pay attention to other parameters. The security and confidentiality of data that is processed is of utmost importance. Integration of payment gateways, identity verification, multi-factor authentication, and linking to drug dictionaries, libraries, or health information networks are must-have features.
Compliance & regulations: Make sure your backend solutions are compliant with federal and state-approved laws and standards. In the US, these include:
- Medicare Modernization Act of 2003
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996
- Documentation requirements under the Food and Drug Administration, Drug Enforcement Agency, and Continuing Education
- 42 CFR § 423.160 applicable to Part D sponsors, prescribers, and dispensers
- Proposed rule (87 FR 79452) to revise the Medicare Advantage Program 2024
- Standards on formulary and benefits by the NCPDP
- Norms set for Clinical Drug Terminology, Medication History, eRx status notification, patient instruction, and prior authorization messages
- Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources rules that govern the exchange of healthcare information
Also, check the latest revisions to other telehealth regulations, such as the Drug Supply Chain Security Act, and ensure you are keeping pace with changes.