The Opioid Crisis and E-Prescriptions: Why Your Endodontic Practice Should Make the Switch Now
Opioid abuse is a growing public health crisis in the United States. Every day across the country, more than 130 people die as a result of an opioid addiction, a number that has steadily increased in recent years. In addition, the costs of the public health crisis are staggering. The National Institute of Drug Abuse estimates the cost of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement to be $78.5 billion each year.
To help combat the growing crisis, increased emphasis has been placed in recent years on modernizing and safeguarding the prescription process to prevent abuse and fraud. Some states, such as New York, have already made the move to eliminate paper prescriptions and instead require e-prescriptions alone.
Yet even if you practice in a state that currently does not require e-prescriptions, now is the time to make the switch to the modern, paperless solution that will not only improve your prescription workflow but give you the peace of mind of knowing your endodontic practice has done all it can to stop potential fraud.
Counting Every Pain Pill Prescribed
The federal government has worked for decades to track painkillers sold across the country in an effort to curb abuse. These Drug Enforcement Agency records were not made public. However, with the number of opioid overdoses soaring in America, the DEA made an unprecedented move in 2019. The federal database tracking every pain pill sold across the country from 2006 to 2012 was released to the public for review.
Analyzing the database, the Washington Post found that a mere 15 percent of all pharmacies were filling nearly half of all opioid prescriptions. Many of these pharmacies were in hotbed states like West Virginia and Kentucky where opioid abuse is rampant. Some of these pharmacies remain in business even today.
Yet, the database revealed more than opioid hotspots and potential bad actors.
Especially troubling, one DEA official admitted to the Post that tracking down bogus prescriptions and prosecuting prescription fraud simply took too much time to be enforced properly.
Barbara Boockholdt was the head of the regulatory section of the DEA’s Diversion Control Division during the same time period as the data was collected. She equated the lack of enforcement to “too many bad guys.”
“If you go into a pharmacy, you have to show that the prescriptions are not legitimate — we just didn’t have time,” Boockholdt told the Post. “One of my favorite quotes from that period of my life was: Too many bad guys, too little time.”
Stop the Paper Trail to Keep Your Prescriptions Safe
Thankfully, with the advent e-prescriptions, the time spent tracking down paper prescription fraud is a thing of the past.
Using modern endodontic practice software like Dental EMR. every step of the prescription process is automatically tracked and available for viewing right from the internet allowing potential issues to be spotted quickly and fraud to be thwarted before drugs exchange hands.
Moreover, the need for paper prescriptions is eliminated, reducing the risk that your prescription pads and your name may be exploited to illegally obtain drugs. In other words, every time you write an e-prescription, instead of worrying the paper prescription may land in the wrong hands, you can know, with confidence, that you are providing safe, quality patient care and doing your part to safeguard the prescription process from fraudulent use.
Moving to an e-prescription now can also keep you ahead of the trend and legal requirements.
E-prescriptions are a Growing Trending Trend
The use of e-prescriptions is gaining steam across the country and in a growing number of states, it is already the law.
In July 2019, Pennsylvania became the latest state to enact an e-prescription law with a number of other states mulling legislation or planning to vote on laws as early as 2019. Many of these laws are in direct response to the opioid crisis.
To keep ahead of the trend, the time to invest in switching over to an e-prescription system, like Dental EMR’s is now.
More than a way to ensure compliance, it is also an investment that will ultimately pay off for your practice in better patient care and improved workflow.
An Investment That Will Pay Off
While much emphasis on the need for e-prescription focuses on the opioid epidemic, simply put, e-prescriptions provide better patient care and a streamlined workflow that can save you and your staff valuable time.
Using a system like Dental EMR’s, every single prescription is provided to the pharmacist in a readable form that eliminates handwriting errors and issues with illegibility that can lead to errors. This means that it is far more likely your patient will get the right medication, at the right dose, every single time.
In addition, by integrating with existing records, the paperless prescription solution alerts to issues, such as allergies, that may make one drug contraindicated. This provides an important safeguard for you and your patient.
Using a software solution like Dental EMR that seamlessly integrates an e-prescription process into your workflow also makes it easier to choose medication that will be covered by the patient’s insurance, putting the information you need to make an informed choice right at your fingertips. Further, your patient can go straight to the pharmacy and the prescription will be ready for them thanks to your teledentistry! Saves the patient time and your patient’s will appreciate that so they’ll tell your referring dentist what an amazing experience they had with your endodontic office.
Finally and vitally, with e-prescriptions, the prescription process never truly leaves your hands. Instead, unlike with a paper prescription that is difficult to track, each step of the process can easily be traced, allowing you to see when the prescription was filled and where. Further, a record of the e-prescription process becomes part of the patient’s records, giving you better access, and control, of every prescription that you write all integrated into your workflow and all fully documented for future use.
The opioid crisis in America is putting a spotlight on how medications are prescribed and efforts to make the prescription process more secure and less prone to fraud.
If your endodontic practice is still relying on an inefficient paper prescription process, the time to change to an e-prescription process is now.
Endodontic practice management software, like Dental EMR, provides a seamless way to upgrade your prescription workflow, improve patient care and integrate e-prescriptions into your practice with a solution that will allow your practice to stay ahead of trends and give you — and your staff — peace of mind.