You know how it goes. You send a prescription, but you can’t always count on it being dispensed without some extra work. You often get calls from the pharmacy to clarify your intent, or to let you know the medication needs a prior authorization. Or, you get a call from your frustrated patient, who is suffering from full-blown pharmacy sticker shock when she learns that the medication you prescribed costs too much.

This is a common healthcare problem, and unfortunately, it’s yours to fix. In this moment, you’re not able to perform at the top of your license as a clinician. Instead, you’re stuck with administrative tasks. You have to use your limited time for patient care to complete the prior authorization. Or you need to find a suitable alternative medication that doesn’t require one. You also have to make sure it has an out-of-pocket cost that your patient can afford – and quickly. Because if you don’t, she might not adhere to her medication therapy. Or she might never pick her prescription up to begin with, potentially causing serious health problems that will also need fixing.

This is the friction in the prescribing process that leads to medication non-adherence.

One way to relieve this friction is to have prescription price transparency and therapeutic alternatives within the electronic health record (EHR) at the point of care. In fact, 86% of physicians believe it’s important to have patient out-of-pocket cost information when prescribing. And 97% of physicians believe it’s important to have cost-effective medication alternatives at the point of prescribing.[i] The clinical value of having this information within the EHR is clear as well, with EHR-based interventions improving medication adherence by up to 20%.[ii] Think about it this way: With point-of-care prescription price transparency, you and your patient can look at the options together, and together choose the most appropriate and budget-friendly option.

A Step Further: What Does the Optimal Prescribing Process Look Like?

You would have patient-specific benefit information integrated with your EHR, along with electronic prior authorization and e-prescribing. Now, you can see what a medication will cost your patient based on their specific health plan coverage, and you can pick the most affordable medication that meets their therapeutic need.

Once the most appropriate and affordable medication is selected, if an authorization is still required, it can be quickly completed during the office visit within your EHR workflow. You send the prescription to the pharmacy with confidence, and your patient leaves your office confident, too. You’re both clear about the medication choice and the medication cost, knowing that it will be covered by insurance.

This optimal scenario doesn’t just streamline the prescribing process. It quite literally transforms medication decision-making. And it helps ensure that patients receive the right drug at the right time, and at a cost that lets them start and stick with their medication therapy, ultimately improving adherence, patient safety, costs and overall satisfaction with the experience.

This optimal prescribing process is available to Aprima customers, along with therapeutic alternatives, electronic prior authorization and seamless and secure e-prescribing.

Here’s to happier, healthier patients, and to getting off the phone and back to healthcare’s front lines where your skills can do the most good.

About the author

Margaux Currie is the Director of Product Innovation at Surescripts. Since 2001, Surescripts has led the movement to turn data into actionable intelligence, and convened its network allies to enhance e-prescribing, inform care decisions and advance the healthcare industry.

i. NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll
ii. Frost & Sullivan. “The impact of the prior authorization process on branded medications.”