3 Ways Chronic Pain Patients can Benefit from E-prescribing of Controlled Substances

Diana Tubera MS MSN BSN RN-BC
Feb 11, 2015

 

The benefits of electronic prescribing have been well-documented: It reduces transcription errors, increases accuracy of dispensed medication, results in fewer office visits and calls to refill prescriptions, and creates a more comprehensive prescription history record. 

These benefits accrue from the point of view of care providers, pharmacists, and healthcare administrators who are responsible for providing efficient, effective prescription services. But e-prescribing is beneficial to patients, too, which is why e-prescribing is fast becoming patients’ preferred—and expected—prescription delivery method.

A recent study published in AHIMA’s Perspectives in Health Information Management surveyed a group of patients over 50 years of age, and found that the majority of them (81%) prefer e-prescribing to paper prescriptions. The patients surveyed gave the following reasons for preferring e-prescribing to paper prescribing: 

E-prescribing saves patients’ time. 

E-prescribing reduces the number of trips patients are required to make to their doctor and pharmacy. 

E-prescribing decreases the potential for patients accidentally losing or damaging their prescriptions. 

E-prescribing can help all patients, but it is especially beneficial to patients who suffer from long-term, chronic pain conditions that require careful management. This is why the introduction of electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) is an important development for chronic pain patients. With EPCS, these patients can enjoy the benefits of faster, more convenient, and more accurate prescriptions – a combination of benefits that will surely ease the hassle of coordinating refills, resulting in a more seamless and stress-free way to access the powerful pain medications patients need. 

Up until recently, however, e-prescribing has only been allowed for non-controlled substances, requiring patients who need strong pain medications to endure the inefficiencies of paper prescriptions, resulting in more wait time, more travel time, and more effort.

In 2010, however, the DEA introduced an interim final rule allowing EPCS. Since then, technology vendors have worked to certify their products to meet DEA requirements for EPCS. This is good news for patients who have come to prefer e-prescribing as their prescribing process of choice. 

EPCS allows doctors and pharmacists to simplify the prescription-filling process for patients by making it as easy, timely, and hassle-free as possible. That’s why chronic pain patients will benefit from EPCS: it’s a pain-free way to access the pain medications they need. 

To learn more about the benefits patients can enjoy from EPCS, click here

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