Supermarket pharmacy executives agree that e-prescribing is the future.
"We have not invested in the e-prescribing model yet, but we are waiting in the waters and looking at early staging and testing with physicians," said John Brady, co-founder, PrairieStone Pharmacies, Minneapolis.
"Electronic prescribing is the technology that is taking hold and will make the whole nation's prescription process safer and more efficient by reducing the potential for medication errors," said Pam Heath, director of pharmacy for Kash n' Karry, Tampa, Fla. "It is instant, it requires no voice or handwriting interpretation, and it creates speed and accuracy of records." Kash n' Karry is a member of SureScripts, Alexandria, Va., an e-prescribing system that provides network connectivity between physicians and pharmacists.
E-prescribing is an expectation associated with Medicare requirements for 2007, said John Fegan, senior vice president of pharmacy, Ahold USA, Braintree, Mass. "A year ago, SureScripts was just really beginning, but the fact that e-prescriptions present an easier way to work with physicians, prevent problems in recording prescriptions, and is in line with future Medicare expectations, means it is in about 40 states now and growing rapidly," Fegan said.
Once the physician and pharmacy communities take full advantage of networks like SureScripts, e-prescribing is set to become a common best practice, Fegan said.
"We have e-prescribing capabilities and are waiting for more physicians to join in as well," said Bob Egeland, assistant vice president, pharmacy, Hy-Vee, West Des Moines, Iowa.