Why E-Prescribing Makes Sense for Community Pharmacies


The concept of electronic prescriptions isn’t new, but adoption (at about 62% for independent pharmacies) is picking up steam as new studies demonstrate the many benefits.

What Research Shows

One recent study of a pilot by Medco Health Solutions and the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) showed significant results. During the 18-month pilot project, the number of doctors using e-prescribing jumped 79%, prescription renewals were up 104%, and 50% of participating physicians changed at least one prescription after receiving a safety alert through the e-prescribing system. The project also led to lower prescription costs through an 11% increase in generic dispensing rates among doctors who converted to e-prescribing.

Benefits to Independent Pharmacies

In addition to the boost in productivity and safety that e-prescribing supports, pharmacies that haven’t yet switched should consider the following benefits of e-prescribing:

  • Fewer errors and increased patient safety through delivery of “clean” prescriptions.
  • Fewer rejected claims due to easier access to prescription coverage information.
  • Less paperwork and re-keying of data, which reduces staff time.
  • Increase patient compliance since 100% of e-prescriptions arrive at your pharmacy.
  • E-prescribing physicians prefer to do business with e-prescribing enabled pharmacies.

Tips for Promoting e-Prescribing to Physicians

The key to maximizing the benefits of e-prescribing is letting your prescribers know that your pharmacy accepts e-prescriptions. A few tips include:

  • Educate your staff about how e-prescribing works and the benefits of the service.
  • Identify one staff member as your e-prescription expert and have them interact directly with physicians in your area to inform them you now accept e-prescriptions.
  • Have this staff member contact (via email, phone calls, or in-person visits) the largest physician offices and prescribers in your area to make them aware of your e-prescribing capabilities.
  • Take advantage of managing renewal authorization requests electronically. This helps strengthen physician relationships because it reduces their time managing prescription renewals.