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According to MarketsandMarkets forecasts, by 2025, the global market for electronic prescriptions will reach $3.3 billion compared to $1.2 billion in 2020. The implementation of this IT product minimizes the risks associated with medical errors and patient misreading. E-prescription software development requires a lot of effort, from vendor selection to integration with other platforms, but it is worth it. The main tasks of the IT product are preserving data confidentiality, adhering to international standards, and filling panels for doctors and patients. What functionality is required for electronic prescriptions, and what are their strengths?
Medication errors. The reasons are illegible handwriting of medical workers, forgetful patients, and ignorance of all contraindications. Globally, such errors result in costs of $42 billion per year.
The increase in the mortality rate of the population. Deaths are due to improper medication. About 44,000 to 98,000 people die from this cause in the United States per year.
Spread of COVID-19. The introduction of restrictions has affected the provision of medical services in hospitals. Thus, during March 2019, the number of outpatient care visits decreased by about 60%. Patient use of telemedicine technology (EHR) has increased the rate of remote visits to 46%.
The purpose of an IT product is to generate and send a digital prescription to a pharmacy. ERx programs ensure the safety of patient data, reduce the doctor’s time, and ensure the correct writing of drug names. They guarantee perfect online interaction between healthcare and pharmaceutical care workers. The main question for future users is: “How does e-prescribing work?“. Information is exchanged in one of 2 ways:
The e-prescription system maintains a database of confidential healthcare information. It handles the transfer of data from doctor to pharmacist, stores patient history and medical chat messages.
The advantage of electronic prescriptions is security achieved through compliance with the main regulatory legal acts in Europe and the United States:
The eRx software provides each user with a specific feature set. What patients can do with orders:
Patients also check prescriptions, receive reminders and information about medications, and pay in the system. Doctors have even more opportunities:
Pharmacy owners and pharmacists perform the following actions:
Nurses and caregivers can:
eRx programs can interact with inpatient and outpatient Clinical Decision Support (CDS) software. The result is notifications for medical personnel about contraindications for the patient when dispensing medications.
The system integrates with electronic medical records (EMR / EHR). It introduces many features, for example, access to the medical history, test results, and treatment plans.
Defining key objectives
Discussing the future software with the target audience will help plan the interface and basic features. At the initial stage, you need to determine:
Planning each step will lead to a thoughtful project and strict adherence to deadlines.
Choosing a digital solution
eRx systems can initially be integrated with other IT products such as CRM or EHR/EMR. Integrated e-prescription solutions account for 87% of the industry, indicating their effectiveness. They offer a wide range of functions and lead to the rapid development of a web or mobile application. This method has become preferred over standalone software.
A separate program has fewer functions and requires the involvement of additional personnel to transfer information from other platforms. The main advantage here is the ability to configure the system for the business processes of a particular company.
In the second step, you have to choose between a smartphone and a desktop app. The decision will affect the technologies used for development. When choosing, it is better to focus on users and their preferences.
The filling of the eRx system contains key features for 3 kinds of users: doctor, patient, and pharmacist. Admin panel or tools for nurses and caretakers are advanced options that depend on your specific implementation area.
The set of basic functions includes the following:
Search for an IT company
The choice of an eRx software development partner implies an analysis of its cooperation proposal. The ideal service provider has:
Healthcare workers review medical history and automatically check drug compatibility. In addition, they receive the correct dosage and notification of the time of the drug intake. The system prevents most errors associated with the wrong taking medicine, dosage form, and frequency of use.
Doctors can renew and write prescriptions from anywhere. All they need is just a mobile device and an Internet connection. The software saves repetitive recipe structures and allows users to resume or cancel orders online. It takes less time to fill out the form than to write it out manually.
Prescribers use dictionaries and select drugs from the drop-down list in the system. They immediately receive complete information about the medication, contraindications, and doses. A digital assistant helps to make prescriptions, offering correct and frequent options.
The system provides continuous communication between users and remote control. For example, doctors get access to the history of taking medications and can monitor the health of their wards. Patients, in turn, have built-in calculators to regulate the number of drugs used.
The program allows all subjects of the provision of medical services to interact in one cloud environment:
Innovative solutions in the healthcare industry significantly empower healthcare workers. They increase patient satisfaction in healthcare and help hospitals reopen in the aftermath of COVID-19. McKinsey’s survey shows that after an initial outbreak, more than 32% of office and outpatient visits were made with telemedicine in April 2020.
According to Surescripts, the number of doctors using electronic prescriptions exceeded 1 million during the pandemic. By joining most pharmacies, they have simplified their workflow and reduced the daily risk of catching viruses. Electronic prescription systems monitor the progress from seeing a doctor to taking the proper medication and recovering.
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