New research indicates that electronic prescription tools may have far greater benefits than earlier believed. The research seems to indicate that electronic prescription tools not only reduce the likelihood of medication errors, but also increase adherence to medication guidelines.
According to a new study, patients are more likely to pick up their medication when doctors use electronic prescription tools. If patients then go ahead and complete the full course of medications, it could mean fewer adverse effects related to medication factors. The researchers in the study analyzed data representing 40 million prescriptions.
One of the reasons for the increased adherence is that using electronic prescriptions reduces the possibility that the person will lose a piece of paper. According to some studies, as many as 28% of doctor’s prescriptions are never filled out. By using electronic prescription tools, doctors can reduce the possibility that the person will lose the prescription and increase adherence.
Additionally, by using electronic prescription tools, doctors may also be able to choose medications that are less expensive for the patient. Cost is a huge factor in whether a patient continues with a medication program or not.
According to another study, medication errors are reduced significantly when doctors prescribe medications using electronic prescriptions. With electronic prescriptions, pharmacists do not have to struggle with trying to decipher a doctor’s squiggly handwriting. Mistakes made in deciphering handwriting causes more medication errors than most Americans know. The possibly of those errors is reduced dramatically with electronic prescription tools. The study showed that error rates dropped by as much as 60%.