May 17, 2005
TECHNOLOGY: ePrescribing is about renewals
Edmund (Bill) Billings, another ex-Oceania MD & veteran now runs a consulting company called Phyxe helping docs get up and running with ePrescribing.
The first key point is that vendors are not focusing on renewals...when he was judging the contest for TEPR only 3 of the 12 vendors had "renewals" as a word search that came up. Yet renewals are the biggest pain in the system--actually worse than refills. New scripts are not such a big deal
He had an example of one solo pediatric doc who had 400 kids with ADD who needed a renewal/refill each month. Using DrFirst it went from 10 mins per to less than a minute to do a renewal, and cut the staff time, phone/fax coming from the pharmacy, etc. Another example was a 2 internist practice who used Oncall. They cut phone calls down (Major problem had been legibility). He cut each activity's time down dramatically (such as renewal authorization, writing new Rx, Renewal request, calls from pharmacy) and made his practice much more productive. This practice is very satisfied with Rx at their end but less satisfied with the pharmacy processing end of it, suggesting that the pharmacy is up to scratch. And this practice wants to build out from this to get to better messaging, getting Rx authorization up and running, etc.
Overall renewals are a big burden and one that the physician underestimates the impact on on their staff. Sometimes, the doc now does more of the renewals after ePrescribing.
Both of these are ASP based. Ed says the prices is around $50 a month but that Docs might pay more when they figure out how much overtime for their staff this might cut down on.
This may be the first time that I've seen a real business case for a doc to pay for an ePrescribing app.