Dec 19, 2020

The benefits of ePrescribing

Rahul Varshneya
5 min
The benefits of ePrescribing
Rahul Varshneya, Co-founder and President of Arkenea, writes about using ePrescribing to reduce medication errors...

Electronic prescribing, also known as ePrescribing, is completely transforming the way in which healthcare is delivered across the United States today. It is also playing a remarkable role in the country’s attempts to augment the safety and outcomes of the prescribing process.

A recent study conducted by the Everett Clinic in partnership with the University of Washington’s School of Pharmacy stated that e-prescriptions improved patient safety by curtailing potential medication errors which, in turn, lead to adverse drug reactions. 

The benefits that come alongside the adoption of ePrescribing are far-reaching. 

Increased productivity

Writing down prescriptions manually can prove to be a daunting task for clinicians at times, since these prescriptions usually need to be drawn up and authorized on an individual basis. 

With ePrescription systems, clinicians can automatically refill hundreds of thousands of RXs at the same time, leaving more time on the clinicians’ hands to review them. This can minimize the prescription error rate, increase efficiency, and reduce no show appointment rates for that particular healthcare facility.

Technology is rapidly improving patient outcomes in the field of pharmacy. An ePrescription system can also be integrated with a transcription service within the healthcare facility. 

Doing this will not only take care of the facility’s documentation, it will also look after its compliance requirements simultaneously. In such a manner, clinicians can easily free themselves of all the data entry-related tasks and additional paperwork, and focus on tasks that are directly related to enhancing care delivery.

Cost savings

According to one study recently published by Surescripts, ePrescribing is related to an increase in healthcare cost savings of between $140 to $240 billion, and better health outcomes over a span of the next ten to fifteen years.

Physicians in the study who employed ePrescribing technology wrote out anywhere around 40% of their prescriptions electronically. This led to a 10% increase in patient first-fill medication adherence, which directly translates into reduced readmissions and fewer doctor visits. 

Considering this 60/40 ratio of paper-to-electronic prescriptions, the study showed that prescription delivery rates rise to anywhere around 81.8%, and close to 76.5% get picked up by patients.

This is truly uplifting for healthcare facilities looking to lessen readmission rates, given the fact that many prescriptions don’t even make it to a pharmacy counter. Surescripts lead researcher Seth Joseph says that this number can be as high as 22% to 28%, based on a Journal of General Internal Medicine study.

Greater medication adherence in patients

Misreading manual prescriptions is a major cause of blunders among health practitioners. 

In most cases, this happens due to illegible handwriting leading to various kinds of error, including wrong frequency or duration of drugs, wrong medication, and incorrect patient information. More so, any workflow is less efficient when valuable time is lost over pharmacists or health practitioners struggling to comprehend what’s written in a prescription. 

When compared with manual prescriptions, e-prescriptions are exceptionally uncomplicated and clear in terms of dosage and treatment. They also require far less interpretation on the part of the pharmacist. 

This can greatly alleviate medication errors. ePrescribing can also aid healthcare providers to make sure that patients have precise information regarding how and when a prescribed drug is supposed to be taken, and what its possible side effects could be.

Increased adherence to medication therapies can reduce costs and deliver better health outcomes. As demonstrated by the Surescripts’ study mentioned earlier, a 10% increase was noticed in prescriptions picked up when e-prescribed compared to written scripts.

In addition to greater adherence to medication by patients, ePrescribing can also reduce the peril of an incorrect dosage. This is one of the many avoidable factors that end up wasting time, or even harming a patient and tarnishing the entire healthcare facility’s reputation. 

Augmenting the outcomes of EHR

In the United States alone, more than 4.5 million visits to hospital emergency rooms (ERs) and physicians' offices happen due to avoidable adverse drug events (ADEs) each year. These ADEs normally occur because of allergies, interactions with treatments or drugs prescribed for an existing condition, and other such factors — like high drug dosages and chronic use of certain medications. 

The majority e-prescription systems employed in healthcare facilities today are designed in a way that integrate seamlessly with electronic health records (EHRs), collecting information about patients' past and present medical history, including existing allergies. 

These EHR systems can alert clinicians if the chances of a prescription interfering with another treatment are high. They can also prevent clinicians from prescribing a medication that a patient would be allergic to.

Therefore, it can be safely assumed that when used alongside an ePrescribing system, EHR outcomes of hospitals can be ameliorated considerably.

Innovations in technology are helping healthcare providers achieve far more than they’d ever comprehended, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. ePrescribing has immense potential when it comes to ameliorating overall patient outcomes. 

Whether your facility is looking to implement an EHR that sends e-prescriptions (which is a requirement for meeting meaningful use objectives), or it’s switching systems and needs different e-prescribing capabilities, here are several questions you need to consider asking yourself:

  • What systems do the pharmacies we work with use?
  • Is the network secure?
  • How do we introduce e-prescribing to patients?

Once you’ve put enough thought into these three primary questions and decided upon an ePrescription model that will work best to suit the needs of your organization, you’ll see great success within no time. 

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Jun 22, 2021

NeuTigers: edge AI in healthcare

3 min
We take a look at edge AI and how NeuTigers is driving this forward in healthcare

What is edge AI? 

Edge AI is essentially a combination of edge computing and artificial intelligence. Algorithms are processed locally - directly on a mobile device or server - rather than in the cloud. This reduces cost, computing power and energy requirements. There are also claims that edge AI is so fast it is possible to reach near real-time analytics

Edge AI devices include smart speakers, smart phones, laptops, robots, self-driven cars, drones, and surveillance cameras that use video analytics. 

Who is NeuTigers? 

NeuTigers is a spin-off company from Princeton University, formed in 2018 to apply edge AI and machine learning to solve challenges in healthcare, energy, productivity, and security. 

With offices in Princeton, NJ, the company is based at one of the top AI accelerator programs of FutureLabs in New York, and has also established a subsidiary in Nice, France.

How is NeuTigers applying edge AI to healthcare? 

The NeuTigers AI Technology Stack uses deep  neural networks that mimic how the human brain perceives and interprets the world. The company has developed the StarDeepTM Smart Health Platform for health monitoring and biomedical imaging, to improve the accuracy and speed of diagnosing diseases. 

NeuTigers say the platform has the potential to monitor and screen for thousands of conditions,  when used in combination with medical devices and  smart sensors already deployed in healthcare settings. 

Are there any real world examples? 

In January NeuTigers launched CovidDeep, a tool that predicts COVID-19 with more than 90% accuracy, using physiological data from a wristband along with blood pressure and blood oxygen readings. It then analyses the data and gives a prediction within two minutes. 

This week NeuTigers announced a new study to detect the early signs of  complications with sickle cell anaemia.  Conducted at a hospital in Paris, the research will begin by looking at changes to skin response, heart beat, sleep and temperature to predict an acute episode of sickle cell anaemia, and how this impacts on the patients’ disease conditions and quality of life. 

The second phase of the project is to expand with prospective studies across different sites in EU, Africa  and the US to explore the models' accuracy and clinical effectiveness. 

They say...

Adel Laoui, CEO and founder of NeuTigers, says: “The best way to deal with a crisis is to avoid it happening in the first place. We are now entering a new era where medical early warning systems have become a reality. 

“We are excited at the possibility of deploying a technology that can save lives of patients dealing with sickle cell anaemia. The potential of the StarDeep platform to dramatically improve patient outcomes while slashing some of the highest costs of healthcare makes it one of the most exciting developments in preventative personal medicine.”

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