One of the great benefits of having electronic health records (EHR) is the ability to ePrescribe. With Care360 EHR, doctors can easily manage prescriptions from a computer, tablet or mobile device. It’s a valuable feature and a real game changer when it comes to the digital evolution of healthcare.
So what happens when there’s a drug recall? Do you know how many patients are using those medications, and do you have an easy way to identify them without going through every chart? How long will it take you to inform them all? Luckily, with an EHR, your patients are in safe hands.
An EHR helps physicians respond to a drug recall much more efficiently than traditional, paper-based records. Just by searching on the name of a drug, as seen in the example below, you can easily create reports indicating which patients are currently taking the recalled medications. The complete list can then be exported and used to create a mailing that alerts patients to the recall and requests an office visit.
Alternatively, paper-based records leave you with only two options that are both time-consuming and prone to human error:
- A staff member would have to review all paper charts looking for specific prescriptions
- A letter or email would need to be sent to all patients informing them of the drug recall, regardless of whether it applies to them
These types of messages can adversely affect your patient relationships, since patients might be less likely to read your messages if they are continually spammed with warnings that do not pertain to them.
There are many real-world examples of the benefits of EHR usage in the event of a drug recall. When a Vioxx recall occurred in late September 2004, it was an EHR that helped an eight-doctor practice in Washington, D.C. easily contact their patients. Dr. Peter Basch used his practice’s EHR to identify all of his patients using Vioxx in less than three minutes. Dr. Basch said that a potential disaster was diffused largely because he and the other doctors had been using an EHR for years.
The same functionality can also be used to contact patients when an alternative drug with fewer side effects is introduced or if a search is needed for patients with specific disease conditions. These are processes that could not be easily accomplished with paper-based records, and are part of the reason ePrescribing and EHR solutions are becoming increasingly prevalent in the U.S.
Learn more about ePrescribing with our certified EHR on the Care360 website.