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New Tools for Physician and Pharmacist Collaboration

While the healthcare industry has changed dramatically throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing has remained the same: the importance of direct access to local pharmacies. Pharmacists have always been essential front-line workers, and they became even more important as physician offices temporarily closed or reduced their hours and began offering telemedicine visits. Pharmacists are taking on additional roles and responsibilities such as addressing medication shortages, providing and administering testing, and counseling patients, all while still dispensing medications.1 With the increased workload, it’s critical that they have the proper tools and technology in place to provide the best care to patients. Practice Fusion has integrated three valuable tools into the ePrescribing workflow that work to support pharmacists, providers, and the patients in their care: RxChange, CancelRx, and real-time patient savings (RTPS).

Practice Fusion has incorporated RxChange transactions into the ePrescribing workflow to help streamline communication between the pharmacy and physician office and to comply with National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) standards. These transactions are used when the pharmacy requests a change in the original prescription and requires a response from the prescriber. One example is to allow for generic substitution, or to use a therapeutic equivalent for a product that is unavailable from the manufacturer.2 Automatically presenting this request in the ePrescribing workflow saves the pharmacist and clinician time by eliminating disruption and the need to pick up the phone or send a fax. RxChange can also reduce the overall administrative burden for pharmacists associated with restocking medications that patients didn’t pick up due to high cost or communication errors.

Practice Fusion also supports CancelRX (CANRX), a request from the prescriber to the pharmacy to correct a mistake or cancel a previously sent prescription. This transaction is imperative for patients receiving a new medication for the same condition or a change in strength of an existing medication. For example, a patient may need a dosage increase of an angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) for their hypertension, or a physician may want to change the ACEI to a beta-blocker to help with a heart failure issue the patient may have developed. Many times, maintenance medications can be set to automatically refill and may be filled even if the patient has received a new prescription and should discontinue the old one. CANRX helps decrease confusion and promotes better patient safety.

After proper utilization of RxChange or CancelRx, Practice Fusion clinicians are equipped with real-time patient savings to display information on copay assistance programs for applicable medications to promote prescription adherence and decrease abandonment. One of the most common questions we hear from patients right now is “How much is this medication going to cost?” With so many medication shortages and millions now without insurance due to COVID-19, pricing tools are critically important to help keep patients healthy. With RTPS, clinicians can see pricing for 30-, 60-, or 90-day supplies at local pharmacies or even mail-order options. Providing insights on coverage and prior authorization through a patient’s benefit plan will continue to help manage chronic disease.

New tools have empowered pharmacists to seamlessly collaborate with physicians on choosing alternative medications that are both clinically appropriate and affordable for their patients.1 The traditional pharmacy role has transformed over time from being the ‘middle man’ in a complex process between the patient and the provider to being an integrated part of a triad, with full transparency to all parties. Practice Fusion is excited to continue offering new solutions that help keep healthcare providers doing what matters most: caring for their patients.

Disclaimer: eCoupons should not be provided to any patient who utilizes any Federal health care program to pay for his or her medications, including but not limited to Medicare or Medicaid