Once a practice decides it is in a position to use e-prescribing, it is beneficial to clearly define the practice needs and wants. When the specific objectives of the practice are based on reasonable expectations, it can be easier to identify the achievable and measureable results desired when implementing e-prescribing.
First, is it useful to identify a project team and designate a specific project leader, all of whom are knowledgeable about the practice and well respected within the practice. This will help get buy-in from other stakeholders. The next step is to identify the practice's specific medication management needs. For example, do physicians want access to information about a patient's complete medication list? Does the practice want to reduce renewal request faxes from pharmacies? By identifying and prioritizing the practice needs, it then provides a list of features (PDF - 80KB) to look for in an e-prescribing system.
As part of this process, it is necessary to think through the current prescribing workflows. This allows the project team to identify where potential breakdowns occur and how e-prescribing might change them. It is also useful to think about and discuss scope of practice considerations and the specific roles of the front and back office , medical assistants, nurses and providers in the prescribing process, and how they will be affected by e-prescribing. Other considerations include:
The following resources provide additional information to help identify the practice's needs:
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