California is not an outlier. That same day, e-prescribing mandates went into effect in several other states, including Maryland and Utah. So far, at least 37 states have enacted legislation requiring e-prescribing in some form and it may not be long before electronic prescribing of controlled substances is considered for federal legislation.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the federal government was on track to mandate that all controlled substances be e-prescribed. Once the pandemic arrived, this requirement was postponed (Medicare’s mandate takes effect in 2023.)
E-prescribing laws vary among states. Some require electronic prescribing only for controlled substances, while others are taking California’s approach and requiring it across the board with very few exceptions.
Even without the mandates, more dental offices are recognizing the benefits of electronic prescriptions for compliance and beyond.
Staying current, staying safe
The number of specialty prescription drugs on the market has increased by a massive 1200% since the mid-1990s, according to Pharmacy Times. For dentists, medications make up only a small part of the ever-expanding medical knowledge and treatment options available to treat patients.
Besides understanding the medications you prescribe, you also need to be aware of the medications your patients are taking — especially any that could be dangerous in the context of dental procedures, such as blood thinners. This is of particular concern for older patients: More than 40% of adults over 65 take five or more prescription medications per day, and nearly 20% take 10 or more.
Understanding the interactions and potential adverse effects of your patients’ medications is critical for their safety. The right e-prescribing solution can help dental professionals manage this often challenging and time-consuming process.
Eliminate paperwork to simplify workflows
Access to critical drug interaction information is one of the key benefits of electronic prescription platforms, but there are many more. E-prescribing allows dentists to write and renew prescriptions anywhere — from the front desk, exam rooms, or a secure device at home.
Electronic scripts also leave less room for errors that compromise patient safety. Illegible handwriting, unclear abbreviations, and pharmacies incorrectly entering the dentist’s orders all create the potential for mistakes on paper prescriptions.
A dentist-centered, dentist-driven solution
However, not every e-prescribing solution is the same. Your dental practice needs an e-prescribing solution designed for you and your needs, not for a pharmacist, physician or other medical professional. A high-quality solution should address compliance and safety efficiently with access to relevant drug information as it pertains to dentistry and oral surgery.
Whether you’re preparing to comply with a new mandate or are simply enthusiastic about the benefits of e-prescribing, Lexicomp® for Dentistry provides industry-leading reference information and screening tools to help dental professionals answer prescribing, diagnosis, and treatment questions.
Lexicomp for Dentistry offers:
- Fast access to key dental pharmacology information
- Daily updates to keep you current on medication safety
- A drug interactions and medication safety check tool to help you make confident prescribing decisions
- Dental decision support alerts that allow you to adjust your treatment plan
- An oral cancer diagnostic tool to compare lesions against
- A dental-specific e-prescribing application (only available online) included in our Lexicomp Online for Dentistry Premium package1
By integrating dental-specific electronic prescribing with a comprehensive drug information database, we help dental professionals quickly find the medication information they need, make informed clinical decisions, ensure accuracy in prescription orders — and ultimately, enhance patient safety.