no more paper prescriptions

prescription padThere has been a lot of buzz recently about the implementation of the mandatory e-prescribe and Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS). For patients, this change means that they will no longer receive paper prescriptions from their physicians (with the exception of some special cases) and they will now need to go to a specific pharmacy that they predetermine.

“As of March 27, 2016, your physician is required to submit all your prescriptions to your pharmacy electronically,” said Joseph Ng, MD, Chief Medical Technology Officer at Mather Hospital.“This means that all you have to do, as the patient, is name your preferred pharmacy when you register at the doctor’s office or hospital and your prescriptions will automatically go to that pharmacy where you can pick them up.”

The goal of the legislation is to improve patient safety and decrease fraud and theft of controlled substances, such as sleeping pills, anxiety medication, and narcotic pain medications.  Any prescriptions written on paper by the doctor will need an indication on the prescription as to why it is NOT electronic.

To make the transition to the new system hassle free, keep these tips in mind:

  • Confirm that your preferred pharmacy is “EPCS” ready;
  • Check that the medications you need are in stock at your pharmacy before your doctor sends your prescription. You may have to find another pharmacy that has your medication and notify your physician of the change.
  • Go prepared to your doctor’s appointment with all of the information necessary for your preferred pharmacy—name, address, and phone number. Major chains often have more than one location in a town, and in some cases, on the same street.
  • If any complications should arise and your prescription is not available at your predetermined pharmacy, please to call your physician’s office for assistance. An error made by either the physician office or the pharmacy will result in your prescription having to be resubmitted to the pharmacy of your choice. If your predetermined pharmacy does not have your medication in stock, the prescription will need to be resubmitted to a secondary pharmacy by your physician’s office.