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Electronic prescriptions: opportunities and challenges for the patient and pharmacist

Authors Lanham A, Cochran G, Klepser D

Received 22 March 2015

Accepted for publication 10 December 2015

Published 3 February 2016 Volume 2016:2 Pages 1—11

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AHCT.S64477

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 6

Editor who approved publication: Dr Utkan Demirci


Ashley E Lanham,1 Gary L Cochran,2 Donald G Klepser,2

1National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation, Arlington, VA, USA; 2Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA

Abstract: Electronic-prescribing (e-prescribing) is one part of the larger move to increased utilization of health information technologies (HITs). Along with other HITs such as electronic health records and health information exchanges, e-prescribing is seen as a tool for improving patient-centered care. The potential benefits of e-prescribing are meant to extend to prescribers, payers, pharmacies, and patients. In general, the benefits of e-prescribing fall into the following categories: patient safety, improved prescribing, efficiency/workflow, and cost savings. Most literature to date has focused on the benefits to prescribers. This review summarizes the existing literature around the impact of e-prescribing on pharmacists and patients. While there are studies supporting many of the proposed benefits to pharmacies, such as increased legibility of prescriptions and improved workflow, there have also been studies that demonstrate unintended challenges brought about by e-prescribing. Likewise, studies examining the patient's experience with e-prescribing make it clear that patients do not always see all of the benefits of e-prescribing, which happen away from their view. There are opportunities for additional research and development of new technologies to improve the e-prescribing experience for both pharmacists and patients.

Keywords: e-prescribing, community pharmacy, medication error, workflow

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