Beginning on next Sunday, March 27 New York State will require that all prescriptions be filed electronically by doctors or medical personnel. This provision was passed in legislation a few years back to better control and track narcotic use however it was delayed in implementation after hospitals and medical personnel said they needed more time to implement it. Many doctors and hospitals have already made the change now.
A recent report in the New York Times said that one result of the change to electronic prescribing is that doctors may prescribe more standard medications that they know are going to be in stock rather than have to spend time writing a different prescription if the one they prescribed is not available. The patient will also have to say which pharmacy they want the prescription sent to.
Health records continue to be moved into the electronic realm. I reported before that hospitals and doctor practices are setting up patient portals for patients to access their medical records, appointments, test results and even send messages to their health care practitioners. Some patients have balked though because of the highly publicized theft of data from insurance companies like Anthem.
As care becomes more coordinated, doctors, hospitals and other providers want to have access to a patient records if several are providing treatment in the same network. The medical providers will be able to easily access the list of medications a patient is taking along with test results and notes from a visit to other medical providers.