CANADA’S ELECTRONIC PRESCRIPTION SERVICE
PrescribeIT® is an electronic prescription service that enhances medication safety, protects patient privacy, and offers seamless integration into existing electronic medical records (EMR) and pharmacy management systems (PMS). An initiative of Canada Health Infoway, PrescribeIT® modernizes the way prescribing has typically been done prescribing by replacing faxed and written prescriptions with ones transmitted electronically from an EMR into a PMS.
“PrescribeIT® is designed to improve and enhance communication between health care providers, allowing them to make better clinical decisions,” says pharmacist and PrescribeIT® Senior Director of Relationship Management, Ian Lording.
“PrescribeIT® can help us actually eliminate fraudulent prescriptions that occur with controlled goods and narcotics across the country. And it allows us to feed important data into existing drug information systems that can help inform behaviours and decisions down the road.”
A NEW ERA IN PRESCRIBING
A national, not-for-profit e-prescribing service, the main advantage of PrescribeIT® is simplified communication between pharmacists and prescribers, enabling them to correspond using an existing EMR and PMS.
PrescribeIT® electronically transmits prescriptions from a physician’s EMR into a pharmacy’s PMS, eliminating the need to manually enter prescriptions into pharmacy systems, as required by printed, faxed or emailed prescriptions.
“PrescribeIT® can be thought of as a digital highway running all the way from Victoria, B.C., to Gander, N.L.” says Ian. “It allows us to send many different pieces of data, including electronic prescriptions, clinical communications, as well as documents between health care providers.”
PrescribeIT® has been designed to tackle a number of different challenges affecting Canada’s current health system, including illegible and fraudulent prescriptions. The platform’s ease-of-use comes from its integration into existing software that pharmacists, physicians and other prescribers already use on a regular basis.
“PrescribeIT® has been tremendously impactful and really changed the way that we deal with patients,” says Dr. Mohamed Alarakhia, physician; Managing Director, eHealth Centre of Excellence; and Chief Clinical Information Officer, Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). “It’s an integrated solution that allows clinicians to directly interact with pharmacists and get the patient the exact prescription they need as quickly as possible.”
Peter Namis, a pharmacist at Chancellors Way Pharmacy in Guelph, ON, and at Kohler Drugstore in Hamilton, ON, also puts emphasis on how much PrescribeIT® has sped up the process of prescribing.
“It allows us to read prescriptions immediately, without having to guess what the doctor intended to give their patient,” he says. “That means we can fill out an order faster and with more accuracy. It definitely makes the prescription journey a lot more efficient.”
When it comes to the future of health care in Canada, both Ian and Dr. Alarakhia stress the importance of change and recognize that this is one of the driving forces behind the ACCESS 2022 movement.
“Health care is tremendously important to us and our loved ones but we’re afraid of change,” says Dr. Alarakhia. “If we don't change, things can get worse and we won’t be able to keep up with the aging population, or with the challenges surrounding mental health. But if we're able to improve current processes and digitize them, we could achieve a lot more, deal with things a lot quicker, and be more efficient.”
Ian adds that digitizing Canada’s current health system is exactly the kind of change we need.
“If we can match where other industries stand today from a digital perspective, that would be a great start,” he says. “We need to enable Canadians to actually view their own personal health information, book appointments, and talk to health care providers.
That’s why it’s very important for us to be part of ACCESS 2022. It's a momentum-based system and the more people that join, the more powerful it becomes.”