Get Ready for More Electronic Prescriptions With PrescribeIT

You'll see a huge step toward more electronic prescribing with the expansion of PrescribeIT in Canada.

PrescribeIT is a service that lets prescribers send electronic prescriptions (e-Rxs) directly from the patient's electronic health record to the pharmacy...including Rxs for controlled substances.

It's currently used in some communities in Ontario, Alberta, and New Brunswick...and will expand to more provinces by 2020.

There's no cost for pharmacies to sign up for PrescribeIT...but expect your pharmacy to pay a small fee for each e-Rx.

Think of e-prescribing as a good thing. It may help decrease fraud...reduce prescription entry errors...and increase efficiency.

But e-Rxs aren't foolproof...and come with a few nuances.

Know where to check for e-Rxs. In most cases, they'll show up in your PrescribeIT work queue when the prescriber sends them electronically.

Otherwise, the patient will hand you a paper Rx with a bar code that can be retrieve the e-Rx from PrescribeIT.

Read e-Rxs closely, and be aware of new kinds of errors that can happen with e-prescribing.

For example, the wrong selection can be made from a "drop-down" list. "Mandy Jones" is just a click away from "Mindy Jones"..."diclofenac sodium" from "diclofenac potassium"..."tsp" from "tab"...or "1 mg" from "10 mg."

Make it a habit to check the "notes" field that's in a separate part of the e-Rx. It may contain additional directions, discontinued med orders, and other messages from the prescriber.

Stay alert for multiple transmittals of the same e-Rx...many are technical glitches or responses to multiple refill requests.

Utilize secure e-messaging with the clarify Rxs, request refills, or notify when an Rx isn't picked up.

Share e-Rx problems, errors, and near misses with your pharmacy everyone knows what to look for.

Get our chart, Strategies for Avoiding E-Prescribing Errors, for a list of potential mishaps and tips to prevent them.

Key References

  • Pharm Pract Bus 2019;6(2):37-40
  • ISMP Canada Safety Bulletin 2018;18(10):1-6
  • Health Aff (Millwood) 2018;37(11):1877-83
Pharmacy Technician's Letter Canada. May 2019, No. 350516

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