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5 Eye-Opening Benefits of Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS)

In addition to toothy smiles and reward stickers, pediatric practices run on efficiency. Streamlined systems are essential for providers, administrators, staff members, patients, and their families.

This is especially true when prescribing medications, including controlled substances. In pediatrics, the most common controlled substances are typically ADHD medications. These maintenance drugs are extremely important to your young patients, and a delay in receiving them can affect the patient’s entire family.

Are you wondering whether electronically prescribing these medications is valuable for your independent pediatric practice? Here are five benefits of electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS).

1. Streamlined clinical workflow

When you’re working within your EHR, don’t you prefer to keep all your tasks contained in one system? With the right electronic prescribing system, you’ll be able to prescribe controlled substances within your EHR.

It’s important to have a unified workflow. This integration eliminates the need for extra software or third-party vendors. A streamlined clinical workflow is valuable for pediatric practices for the following three reasons.

  • It prevents prescription drug abuse because it’s easy to spot overprescribing.
  • It hinders “doctor shopping” because you can see a patient’s controlled substance prescriptions from other providers.
  • It impedes prescription fraud by eliminating paper prescription pads that can be stolen, altered, or forged.

2. Cost and time efficiency

While controlled substances may account for only 5 percent of the prescriptions you write, having a system that allows you to prescribe them electronically is going to help your bottom line.

If you’re giving a patient a written prescription, you have to spend time making sure you’re not prescribing the medication too early. Then you have to find a prescription pad and write it out by hand.

That might not seem like a lot. But if you have to go through this process several times a day, the time spent doing those tasks adds up. And time is money.

3. Patient satisfaction

Anyone who works in a pediatric practice knows that parents of children value their time. Your patients’ parents don’t want to drive to your office, pick up a handwritten prescription, and drop it off at the pharmacy every month — or even every three months.

Plus, this scenario creates more work for you and your staff. It means an extra person in your waiting room and an additional task of writing or finding the prescription. All because you couldn’t send the prescription electronically.

4. Compliance with state rules

More and more states are passing legislation that requires all controlled substances to be prescribed electronically. No papers, faxes, phone calls, or messages. That is all becoming part of the past.

If your state hasn’t enacted similar laws, chances are they are coming. Implementing a system for e-prescribing will bring you into compliance with these regulations before it’s required.

5. Security

Electronically prescribing controlled substances directly to the pharmacy means you can feel confident that your DEA number will not be exposed to the patient or anyone else.

A reputable EHR with an EPCS system will have built-in security measures that protect you and your pediatric practice. You will most likely have to go through a few steps when implementing the software, but it will be worth it to make sure the system isn’t being abused.

For more tips that help your pediatric practice, visit the Pediatric Success Series blog.

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