Regardless of what your government or insurance company tells you, e-prescribing is a pain in the ass. It is free for me to do it, but your unfortunate pharmacy is paying around 30 cents a script each time your doctor sends this crap over the internet.
It takes me, literally, 3-5 minutes PER DRUG to send this over the internet, with a decent high-speed DSL internet connection. As opposed to the 1 minute or less for me to neatly write it out, call in, or fax in.
The U.S. government is so enamored with this way to reduce efficiency and waste time that, starting 2 years ago, they began pressuring us to do this. In fact, Medicare pays us a small bonus to use it for Medicare patients. As a result, I am doing it too, because I can use the money. But that doesn't mean I like the system. I think the whole program should be cancelled and e-prescribing ditched.
But MOST frustrating to me is what happens when I have to do a controlled substance refill online. Yes, this group of drugs includes things like Methadone and Percocet, but also includes more pissy drugs like Lyrica and Ambien.
Here it is:
For refills on regular drugs: I have to click on "approve" or "disapprove". Simple enough.
For controlled drugs: I also have to click on "approve" or "disapprove".
BUT if I click on "approve" it says "This is prohibited by law. Click on the 'contact me' button to send a message to the requesting pharmacy that they need to request this from you by either means, i.e. fax or phone"
So I click on "contact me". Sounds benign, huh? But wait...
What then happens is that the pharmacy gets a message that ONLY says "Prescription denied by physician" (and they pay 30 cents for that). It doesn't say ANYTHING about actually trying to reach me by another method. I've personally verified this with 3 local pharmacies.
So the pharmacy tells my patient that I am the one at fault, because, after all, I refused to fill it (even though that isn't what I did). And so Mr. Patient gets angry, and calls my office pissed to yell at my staff and me.
What I don't understand is:
1. Why doesn't it actually tell them to contact me by another method (like it says it will)
2. WTF does it let them submit controlled requests online, WHEN IT ALREADY KNOWS I CAN'T REFILL THEM THAT WAY ANYWAY!!!
I'm now stepping down, putting my soapbox away, and shutting up, since my complaining won't matter at all to the bureaucrats who actually can change this.
Thank you, TAP, for bringing this up.