New York health system sees few issues with e-prescribing efforts

One health system in the upper reaches of New York State is seeing very few issues with its e-prescribing efforts, even as some providers continue to struggle despite a March 27 deadline to have such services available.

Lisa Rabideau, R.N., clinical informatics manager at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, tells Healthcare Informatics that the organization was actually good to go for e-prescribing when the first deadline rolled around in March 2015.

While no rollout of a new system is without some troubles--Rabideau says some providers have had credentials disappear and need to be re-enrolled--mostly the process is going smoothly.

One exemption Champlain is learning about through trial and error is prescriptions to out-of-state patients because of the system's proximity to Canada, Rabideau notes. In the rule, there is an exemption for that process, so those prescriptions do not need to be sent electronically. Champlain found they could electronically send the prescription to Canada, but the billing info won't go through the eRx platform with an out-of-state address.

Views from providers on the law mandating e-prescribing in New York are mixed, FierceHealthIT previously reported. "It is a good thing to make electronic prescribing ever more available," American Medical Association President Steven Stack, M.D., said. However, he added that it should not have to be required all the time.

Champlain also has had some complaints from patients who don't have as much flexibility when looking around for the best medication prices.

"Some do miss the ability to shop around, but that's not to say they couldn't have the conversation before they're discharged and make some phone calls about which pharmacy to send it to, " Rabideau says. "They can tell us which pharmacy to send it to as long as the one they choose accepts them electronically, which all of our local pharmacies do."

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