Over the last 20 years, the digitization of the medical sphere has speeded up a lot. Mostly it’s connected to the spread of the Internet. The need to free physicians, caregivers, nurses, and other types of medical personnel from unnecessary paper flow, double-checking on prescriptions, bearing in mind patients’ health risks and other administrative issues opened the possibilities to better clinical outcomes and as a result, saved more lives. Since the 1990s many European countries as well as the US started to introduce Electronic Health Records (EHR) into the medical system and the more digitized the sphere has become the easier it seems to bring any new integrations into it, including e-prescribe software. Nowadays around 98% of medical facilities in the western world issue electronic prescriptions. For example, since 2010 in the USA it’s highly recommended to use e-prescribing systems to control substance usage. So what exactly makes digital medical prescriptions such a lifesaver nowadays?
5 Benefits of Electronic Prescription Software
• No Errors in Drug Prescription
Did you know that around 4 in 10 patients’ deaths are connected to taking drugs incorrectly, misdiagnosis, or incorrect prescriptions? Moreover, illegible handwriting adds more to this. It doesn’t only bring incorrect transcriptions but also evokes pharmacists calling to doctors and figuring out what exactly the medication name and dosage are, thus taking a lot of doctors’ time that could be spent providing better care for other patients.
• Automatic Insurance Verification
In a situation with a plethora of insurance possibilities, different types of insurance cover different medications. Prescribing software helps to go through the database and choose the drug which is covered by the patient’s insurance.
• Instant Medical Reconciliation & Improved Clinical Support
The same drug could be released by different companies under many names in numerous types and dosages. Digital prescription enhances the understanding of drug interactions, as well as helps to track allergies and side effects. Stored patients’ histories also help in decision-making and prevent drugs that are wrong or duplicated from being prescribed.
• Tracking Prescriptions
According to the statistics, 20 percent to 30 percent of prescriptions on paper are not filled, in some cases, when potential drug abuse comes into the picture, paper prescriptions could be used more than once or get altered to receive a bigger dosage of potentially harmful medication. Both scenarios can end up ruining patients’ health. e-Prescribing software could notify doctors through the system of alerts by any of the mentioned above activities.
• Facilitated Prescription Refill
Practitioners and physicians spend much time responding to prescription requests. Digital prescription software drastically speeds up and automates this process.
How to Benefit from Custom-Developed Electronic Prescription Software
There are dozens of prescribing software on the market, the majority of them are custom-developed solutions specifically crafted for the needs of a particular medical institution. Some are white labels, some are stand-alone and off-the-shelf products. Let’s discuss how you benefit from custom e-prescribing software.
• You get only the features you need.
It means that the crafted solution would perfectly match your business goals and specific requirements, which also allows you to save on integrations of ready-made solutions.
• Tailored software comes with the support team.
It’s important to make sure that in case of usability issues, or any other bugs, you have your back protected. Custom software usually comes with maintenance, system update, and bug fixing.
• Custom software is better protected against breaches.
Any software development company while gaining trust and seeking long-lasting relations with clients sets its priority on security and safety.
• Building custom electronic prescribing systems is scalable and flexible.
Under this scenario, clients could introduce some changes or implementations at any level of product development. Moreover, such an option is important during the usability testing of the product.
At Itexus we know how to craft and implement resilient and useful e-prescription solutions by reaching out to end-users through usability testing and overall usability improvement, not to mention deep skills in API integrations, encryption, backend microservices development, and machine learning implementation.
Core Features of Electronic Prescribing Systems
Let’s discuss the main features to be mindful of while requesting the development of the iHealth e-prescribing software.
• Patient Panel
- Ability to stay updated about the doctors, personal details, insurance, and prescriptions.
- Integrated encrypted in-app chat to reach out to doctors either to talk or notify them about treatment-related details.
- Geo-location friendly system of medication ordering helps to spot the nearest pharmacy or even make an online order for doorstep delivery.
• Doctor Panel
- Ability to receive alerts and updates about medication management.
- Integration with the national EHR system via an API to view treatment and allergy history
- Integration with medicine database to generate new prescriptions based on the drug’s availability
- Instant error detection serves help not to duplicate drugs and prescribe the right dosage
• Pharmacist Panel
- Ability to view orders from doctors, accept or reject them
- Ability to manage records history
- Integration with payment systems to speed up the delivery
• Admin Panel
- Ability to manage the users in the system: doctors, patients, and pharmacists
- Review management
- Access to payment logs if needed due to transparency reasons
Integrations to Electronic Prescriptions Platforms
For interoperable and highly-effective e-prescribing software to meet the needs of all stakeholders, pay attention to the following integrations and compliances with the certified systems.
1. Electronic Health Record (EHR) / Electronic Medical Record (EMR) databases
Electronic medical prescription solutions should be coordinated by EHR/EMR networks to make prescription decisions accurate according to the patient’s medication history. Among the most popular integrations are DrChrono, Allscripts, AthenaHealth, CareCloud, etc.
2. State PDMP Database for the US Region
This type of integration lets doctors get a view of patients’ history of controlled medication consumption which helps to fight dependencies and drug abuse.
3. Clinical Decision Support (CDS) System
Such integration helps to study health data thus providing more accurate clinical advice. It includes providing alerts on the prescriptions which contradict the patient’s schedule of treatment. CDS systems could use machine learning to examine the previous records and increase clinical decision-making or be developed based on a knowledgeable database, a communication solution, and inference software. Among stand-alone CDS integrations are MDToolbox, NueMD, Surescripts, etc.
4. Hospital and Clinic Information System (HIS/CIS)
By bringing e-prescription system solutions to the state or national levels, different cross-hospital and cross-clinic information systems could be integrated.
5. HL7 solutions
HL7 interface development could be performed from scratch or integrated into the existing products. Such solutions help to secure the migration, exchange, retrieval, and sharing of patient’s medical records.
6. Payment Services
This is quite an important integration as it allows instant payment for the medication prescribed. Moreover, in case a healthcare facility works with big companies or enterprises it could integrate its billing system into the e-prescribe software.
e-Prescribing Software Development: Step By Step Guide
It’s very important to introduce stakeholders and users into the planning phase to make it effective. The key target spheres to discuss are:
- Potential challenges that could slow down the e-prescription software from implementation;
- Main features vital for patients, doctors, pharmacists, and admins;
- Platforms that are comfortable with each group of stakeholders.
2. Main Features
Discuss with stakeholders the features they expect to have while using the e-prescribing software. We have already highlighted earlier the main features any digital prescription software should have to become user-friendly for patients, doctors, pharmacists, and admins.
3. Find the Healthcare
Software Dev Company
This is a very important step to find that one company to you can entrust the building of your solution. Make sure that the target company has extensive expertise in the development of SaaS healthcare applications. Also, the developer should be skilled enough in applying such technologies as Cloud Integration, Blockchain, ML, AI, etc. Go through healthcare projects already delivered by the company, and pay attention to the difficulty level and whether the technologies needed for your project are actively applied.
What Affects the Cost of Electronic Prescription Software?
Make it very clear at the stage of negotiations what your budget is and which solutions the company could deliver to squeeze the needed functionality into your budget. Take into consideration the following aspects influencing the cost of development:
- Functionality and number of features;
- Third-party integrations;
- Compliances and certifications;
- Number of users;
- Engagement model and the size of the developmental team;
- Technological stack used
- Platforms for your solution.
Bear in mind that the development process is normally divided into several trenches and your budget should cover the initial payment for the solution as well as further integrations, implementations, and maintenance. It’s important to discuss all these aspects at the stage of negotiating with the software development company. You could save on some features and integrations to launch your product faster to the market but it’s better to get a consultation before choosing this option.
The American healthcare system is mostly located in the private sector and it’s difficult to unify it under one national policy. Besides, the US reality generates the situation of some insurance covering certain medications, and other types of insurance covering other drugs. Moreover, the same medication is produced under different brands. That’s why there is an urge for scalable and truly interoperable solutions to serve the needs of all stakeholders, especially patients. That’s why e-prescribing software is a must for any healthcare facility. Itexus has vast expertise in Healthcare software development, and is compliant with the following protocols and regulations: HIPAA (American region), GDPR (European region), TLS/SSL, FHIR, IL7, IEC 62304, DICM, PACS, ICD-10, etc. We also follow the best security practices including encryption if needed. Our software specialists are skilled in mobile, Web, IoT, Big Data, AR, VR, ML technologies, etc. To order a consultation, just drop us a line.
By Itexus Team