Eprescribing requires a network of support, research indicates

While electronic medical records, medical billing and eprescribing software are all beneficial to private practices and small healthcare facilities, a new study indicates that eprescribing in particular may not be a catch-all solution to a facility's problems on its own. In addition, the research also suggested that many medical professionals simply reverted to pen-and-paper methods when they experienced issues with eprescribing software, potentially limiting its benefits.

The study, which surveyed eight independent ambulatory medical centers in New Jersey that did not possess EMR software, found that despite these issues, the facilities were able to meet the federal meaningful use requirements for eprescribing. However, while the facilities were able to reap the benefits of their investment monetarily, patient care may not have improved to the level that other studies indicate it could have.

"After implementation, some prescribers reported using [formulary and benefit] data to inform medication choices but missing information reduced confidence in these resources," lead author Jesse Crosson of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, wrote. "Low confidence in [medication history] data led to paper-based workaround."

In addition to these issues, the researchers also suggested that eprescribing itself may have limitations. For example, the report indicated that since eprescribing systems often rely on medical history, the strength of this service was often determined by the facility's data management.

To mitigate issues, medical facilities that are considering implementing eprescribing software may want to consider the benefits of making this purchase through an experienced consulting service and product provider. For instance, this type of company can provide auxiliary services that are designed to support facilities without an extensive IT network of their own.

These facilities may also benefit from medical practice management software by top providers such as Allscripts that can help owners and managers ensure that progress is being made to ensure a smooth, beneficial EMR transition.

Microwize Technology is a leading retailer of healthcare IT products, including electronic medical records software and medical billing software from top providers like Lytec, Allscripts and McKesson.