pediatric ehr

5 Pediatric Features You Need in an ePrescribing Tool

In 2007, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) began to promote and encourage the use of electronic prescribing tools, or eRx, within the electronic health record to reduce transcription errors, improve accuracy, and even reduce patient drug costs. In the succeeding years, prescription tools have reached adolescence -- today, they not only reduce errors but actively make visits to the pediatric practice and the pharmacy easier for pediatricians and for their patients. Here are 5 things you don’t want to miss in the latest edition of PCC eRx.

eRx for Kids: Why it Matters

E-prescribing is a key tool that goes hand in hand with a robust pediatric software solution. Early solutions helped prevent errors and have only become more streamlined and powerful, saving pediatricians time that’s better spent with patients and their families. 

What makes an eRx tool special in pediatric practice? Kids and adolescents in various stages of development need different medications, not just different dosages than adults do, so a tool designed with kids in mind can make a standard tool work even better for pediatrics. An eRx tool offers physicians the right medication in the right ways for kids -- and a smart tool can help them do that faster, easier, and more accurately, and even give a heads up when something isn’t right, like when a medication conflicts with an existing allergy. These built-in checks and support systems help practices offer quality care and help keep visits focused where they should be -- on kids and families. Here are five features pediatricians can look out for in an excellent eRx tool.

1. Create 3 month supplies for ADHD medications

A common workflow for ADHD medications is to create and send three individual 30-day prescriptions as the equivalent of 90 days worth of medication, in three parts, required for most insurance coverage. Creating these prescriptions individually takes both extra time and coordination on the physician’s part. What if there was a faster way to e-prescribe for ADHD medications? PCC eRx creates three prescriptions for ADHD medications in one click and reduces duplicate alerts. Faster ADHD prescriptions means less hassle for pediatricians and more time with patients.

2. Designate favorite scripts for easy access.

Pediatricians often use the same familiar medications for their patients, so when writing prescriptions, it can be very helpful to have quick access to the medications you want instead of scrolling through medications you don’t need in pediatric practice. 

It’s okay to pick favorites when it comes to eRx -- selecting favorite medications can help providers write scripts more efficiently. Which medications you favorite are up to you -- once favorites are stored to a list, physicians can easily create a prescription with that exact medication, dose, frequency, and more. Utilizing favorites saves time by not searching and scrolling through the list of dosing statements provided for each medication.

3. Change, cancel, and check whether your scripts are filled (plus: edit in the Rx queue).

It happens -- the prescription first intended for Walgreens needs to go to CVS instead. eRx tools are savvy, but not savvy enough to call the pharmacist for you, and during a pediatrician’s busy day, it’s a hassle to call one or more pharmacies to check on your patients’ scripts.

A great eRx solution can help in this situation: from the patient’s chart, users can electronically change and cancel prescriptions and get a notification if you need to follow up with the pharmacy by phone. Some pharmacies can indicate when the scripts are picked up, giving pediatricians a better understanding of patients’ care.

It’s common to need to change a prescription before it's sent to the pharmacy, so you’ll want to be able to change pending prescriptions right from the Rx queue. PCC’s Rx queue is a task list to process and sign renewal requests and pending prescriptions. Pharmacists can also contact the office if they have questions about the prescriptions sent, and some eRx can present the pharmacists’ alternatives right in the Rx queue. This communication helps patients get the right script straight away without confusion, saving both families and practices time and money.

4. Tidy up Medication History and Get Renewals Out Faster

Oops, is that an outdated medication from 2 years ago in your patient’s medication history? Just like many other digital tools, your patients’ medication history can get cluttered. You’ll want to be able to remove unnecessary entries on your medication history quickly and easily to keep charts tidy. There’s nothing like a clean medication history to help a pediatrician get a simplified look at a patient’s chart.

When renewing a prescription, the simpler the better -- after all, you’ve already done the work of filling out the script when it was first prescribed. eRx tools can help physicians renew medications with fewer clicks. For example, PCC allows users to renew in one click, depending on their EHR role. Alternatively, you can always save the script to review and send later. A faster, simpler eRx process can better serve patients in workflows that make sense for each physician.

5. Streamlined Renewals

In the digital workplace, duplicates can happen, and e-prescribing tools are no different. Since pharmacies might send multiple renewal requests for a single prescription, catching the duplicates makes your eRx queue easier to scan and more efficient overall.

A tool that can consolidate the same request from the pharmacy further helps to declutter a patients’ chart and your task list. With PCC eRx, users can rest assured that duplicate requests from the pharmacy now only appear as one item in the queue, the center of eRx-related tasks and queries. Consolidating duplicates helps keep communication clear so that physicians and pharmacies can better serve patients.

Renewals should be easy and efficient, but they’re not always what’s needed. PCC eRx can prevent renewal requests from the pharmacy, so that pediatricians can speak to the patient’s family or schedule a visit before renewing. When one physician fills in for another while they take a much-deserved break, PCC can also reassign renewal requests upon the doctor’s return, so that renewals are sent to the correct physician every time.

eRx tools have come far in their short existence, and PCC eRx aims to make the tool even better for pediatric practices who use it in unique ways to fit their unique patients. These features are additions to PCC eRx that are requested by pediatric practices and their skilled users. Learn more about PCC’s clinical tools that help make delivering care to patients streamlined and customizable to the way that real pediatricians practice medicine.

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Allie Squires

Allie Squires is PCC's Marketing Content Writer and editor of The Independent Pediatrician. She holds a master's in Professional Writing from NYU.