Electronic prescribing (e-Rx) is a common feature of EMR software today, but many healthcare providers are unaware of the key technical benefits of e-prescribing in EMR systems. Some of the ‘best of the breed’ EHR software systems today feature extensive e-Rx functionality to enhance the process of prescribing drugs through features such as the ability to extract the complete prescription history of patients, complete drug formulary and included clinical decision support to verify possible drug interactions.

Electronic Medical Records software adoption has grown exponentially over the last few years with pharmacies across the country accepting electronic prescriptions. This has meant that EHR software vendors have improved and refined the electronic prescription capabilities of their EMR software platform significantly. When assessing the strength of electronic prescribing in an EHR software, it is important to start with the health information exchange method and/or network used for transmission of e-Rx.

Health information exchange networks like Surescripts have made significant progress in the world of electronic prescriptions with secure health information exchange and timely transmission of relevant patient data. Surescripts claims that 85% of all electronic prescriptions in 2018 were sent using their networks. Therefore, EHR vendors using a reliable health information exchange network like Surescripts may offer advantages in terms of reliability, connectivity, and performance.

Following are key e-prescribing features to look for in an EMR software:

Clinical decision support

It’s important to check if the EHR system has built-in clinical decision support to pick up on possible drug interactions with the patient’s condition, allergies and/or other drugs that the patient may be taking.

Medication history

Equally important is the capability of the EMR software to extract the complete history of the patient’s past medications.

Benefit verification & formulary

Information regarding drug cost and insurance coverage for patients should be accessible instantly.

Electronic Prior Authorization (ePA)

The EMR system should automate the electronic prior authorization process with real-time feedback on whether the request was approved.

EPCS (Electronically Prescribing Controlled Substances)

The EHR software should offer the ability to prescribe controlled substances using the built-in e-Rx functionality.

Patient Portal and iPhone app integration

Providers should be able to instantly approve and accept Patient Portal generated requests by patients for medication refills even through the iPhone app.

The following EMR software vendors offer some of the best e-Rx features and functionality available today: