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AHRQ Releases E-prescribing Implementation Toolsets
The wait is over. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has finally released its long-anticipated e-prescribing toolsets which aim to assist physician offices and independent pharmacies implement EMR-integrated or standalone e-prescribing software. The resources are available for free online and consist of eleven chapters for physicians and seven chapters for pharmacies.
The toolkit for physician offices is designed to be used by providers in a variety of medical settings – from small, independent practices to large medical groups – and its main purpose is to provide practices with the resources to make it through a successful implementation, from beginning to end. The first chapter, for example, helps healthcare professionals identify the people that will need to be involved in their practice’s implementation efforts; and subsequent chapters break the process down into manageable steps. One of the more useful resources – an e-prescribing vendor assessment tool – helps physicians compare different products based on the features and functionalities vital to their practice.
The resources for pharmacies cover topics dealing with the initial planning process and launch, including how to communicate their e-prescribing participation to patients and providers, as well as how to handle e-prescription requests and assess pharmacy workflows.
Although many providers are already writing electronic prescriptions through their EMR software, there are still a great many that will benefit from the AHRQ’s toolsets. “[The toolsets] can help both the practices and the remaining pharmacies that haven’t yet implemented e-prescribing and are thinking about how they can go about doing that,” AHRQ’s senior health IT manager Teresa Zayas-Caban said in an interview with Information Week Healthcare. “For the ones that have started e-prescribing, and are encountering challenges in getting the process completely worked out, we have some tools and suggestions for how to understand what may be working well and what may be not and how to better achieve the goals they want to achieve by using e-prescribing.”
To access the complete toolsets, click here.