INTELLIGENCE IN ACTION

‘Standard Bearers’ in E-Prescribing: CancelRx and RxTransfer

“Standardization.” Boring? Maybe not. Standardization in electronic prescribing boosts prescription accuracy, workflow efficiency and patient safety. In fact, standardization provides the blueprint for perpetually higher performance, and leads to transaction types like CancelRx and RxTransfer.

Why are standards useful? How do they improve e-prescribing? For answers to these questions from the perspective of both a prescriber and a pharmacist, listen to our episode, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” on the Pharmacy Podcast Network.

There’s no such thing as a single doctor who serves all their patients’ needs.

We’ve moved away from individual provider care, and toward collaborative care models, which includes pharmacists as part of the broader team. CancelRx and RxTransfer are standardized to enable seamless communication between prescribers and pharmacists.

But note that these transactions aren’t unilateral; it’s a collaborative process, and as Dr. Danny Lee of Johns Hopkins Community Physicians describes on the podcast, everyone should be working from the same page of the playbook.

“Physicians need to consider pharmacists as part of the care team, so that when ‘we make changes,’ they know, too. Everyone needs to be on the same page.”

– Dr. Danny Lee, Chief Medical Informatics Officer, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians

Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of room to improve. A 2021 Surescripts survey found that only 21% of pharmacists said they always have enough patient information to ensure the appropriateness of medication therapy. And when pharmacists need to reach out to prescribers to learn more—or vice versa—most communication still happens by phone or fax.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

In fact, a University of Wisconsin, Madison, study of CancelRx found that the standardized transaction can have real impact—especially when every moment counts in busy pharmacies and care settings.

  • Before CancelRx, only about 34% of prescriptions that were discontinued in the clinical setting were also cancelled in the pharmacy.
  • After CancelRx went live, the proportion of successful discontinuations jumped drastically to 93%.
  • Additionally, the amount of time it took to discontinue a medication plummeted from approximately 12 hours to virtually no time at all.

Here are two scenarios where CancelRx and RxTransfer come into play and how they help put everyone on the same page, as Lee says.

  • Scenario 1: A primary care provider has a patient with high cholesterol. During a recent check-up, lab results show that the patient’s cholesterol has worsened. With CancelRx, the provider can cancel the existing prescription and change it to a more appropriate dose. And all within EHR workflow—with no phone calls or faxes to the pharmacy.
  • Scenario 2: A patient’s regular pharmacy is out of stock of the required medication—or perhaps the patient moved to another state. With RxTransfer, a pharmacist can request that the prescription be transferred to the patient’s new pharmacy, or to another pharmacy that has the out-of-stock medication on hand.

“The source of truth,” says Dr. Danny Lee on the podcast, “is always the medicine cabinet in a patient’s home … but there’s a whole host of reasons we do not want a patient to take that medication anymore. I think prescribers are thrilled when pharmacists are taking these messages up so that we can all improve the safety of prescribing.”

Visit Intelligence in Action to stay engaged with CancelRx, RxTransfer and other technologies with the power to improve prescription accuracy, care workflow and patient safety.

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