New study shows eprescribing reduces errors and increases cost-efficiency

A new study published by weekly peer-reviewed medical journal, The Lancet, found electronically-based interaction between physicians, pharmacists and patients to both improve patient care and reduce facility costs.

According to the study, 72 general medical practices in the United Kingdom were randomly assigned to either the more thorough PINCER (a pharmacist-led, information technology-based intervention) condition or a simpler electronic feedback condition.

In the latter condition, practices were only provided with simple digital feedback for patients more prone to medication errors and brief explanations of the kinds of errors that could occur.

While the practices in the PINCER condition received this information as well, they also met with pharmacists to discuss how to address potential errors with a strategic action plan.

According to the study's results, those practices in the PINCER condition were found to be less likely to prescribe erroneous medication, saving roughly $119 for every error avoided.

Though these findings are impressive, the study concludes that the condition is most beneficial for facilities with electronic medical records software.

"The intervention that we have developed will be suitable for implementation in the increasing number of countries where clinical records are now computerised and where the roles of pharmacists to monitor proactively for clinically important medication errors can be extended," researchers said.

Understanding the benefits interoperability presents for patient care and cost-efficiency, facility managers looking to draw the most benefit from their IT investments should consider deploying the service of a certified medical technology consulting company to implement and train staff on a useful software suite like Lytec 2011. Considering the empirically proven benefits in the Lancet study, facility managers who adopt this strategy will likely enjoy reduced prescribing errors and ultimately enhance the cost efficiency of the practice.

Microwize Technology is a leading healthcare IT consultant offering products such as electronic medical records software and medical billing software from top providers like Allscripts and McKesson, including McKesson's Medisoft, Lytec and Practice Choice products.