Despite the fact that medical prescriptions are an essential means of communication between doctors, pharmacists and patients, they are also a potential source of errors that can cause adverse events. In the case of traditional recipes, their problems are known: of intelligibility, they are easy to falsify, the fact that all the information is scattered, etc.
In recent years, the e prescribing software has been presented as an alternative that could eliminate these problems, and multiple studies confirm its positive impact on patient safety and, specifically, drug safety. However, it is not without risks.
It has been difficult but the electronic prescription is making its way in the Spanish pharmacy thanks to the efforts of professionals, schools and health authorities. The deployment of this system in the Community of Madrid will be completed in 2014 and its results will be immediate for patients and pharmacists.
By dispensing with the paper prescription and using the health card as a key to access their treatment, the electronic prescription not only facilitates and brings pharmaceutical delivery closer to the citizen. Also, and most importantly, it reinforces the safety in the use of the medicine. It allows, in effect, the pharmacist to receive and consult the information on the user’s medication to improve therapeutic follow-up for chronic and multi drug patients. It also reduces errors associated with prescribing or dispensing by automatically detecting duplications or contraindications in the treatments, in addition to avoiding bureaucracy and saving time for the professional to turn to their healthcare activity.
There is no doubt that all this will result in better compliance with treatments and, therefore, in better clinical and pharmacological results. The National Health System is going to be one of the great beneficiaries, since the electronic prescription is reducing hospital admissions as a consequence of non-compliance or the misuse of medication and also unnecessary visits to health centers. These are real benefits and savings of a new pharmaceutical action that must be registered and valued in their proper measure.
Thanks to the electronic prescription, the pharmacist will now be in a position to record patient information and manage his professional activity to play a much more active role in patient care in collaboration with other professionals. Ultimately, it implies a change in the way the pharmacy works that will offer new advantages and professional opportunities that the pharmacy is more than ready to exploit for the benefit of citizens.