Over the past couple of years, practices, hospitals and dental clinics have upgraded from paper records to EHR systems to comply with the meaningful use program. However the incentive program by CMS is not the only regulation that providers have to comply with. Along with ICD-10, HIPAA and other federal programs, many states have also passed prescription/healthcare laws which require digital products for compliance.
For providers in New York, March 27, 2015 is the cutoff date after which they would have to start prescribing drugs electronically under The Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act or I-STOP. Some practitioners may be wondering if the law applies to them while others have delayed adoption hoping that an extension or relief would be available. But the fact of the matter is that there are just a few months to go before all providers including dentists have to start prescribing medication electronically. However, practitioners are allowed to keep paper prescriptions for out of state patients or in case of network downtime.
It important to keep in mind that implementing digital prescriptions is a process, not just a setting or a switch that you can turn on. Many HER vendors offer electronic prescriptions as a part of their software but there are still quite a few practices – especially those that use modular software – who may not have access to electronic prescriptions under their current setup. Physicians should contact their vendor to see if they need to purchase a separate subscription plan or software to enable this functionality.
Not all vendors can qualify for the stringent requirements pertaining to electronic prescriptions especially since they have to prioritize resources to comply with the meaningful use program, ICD-10 and other laws. If your current provider does not offer electronic prescriptions, you may need to source this product from someone else. Before making a purchase, keep in mind that the new software will have to work with your existing practice management or EHR system. In addition, using electronic prescriptions is a long-term commitment so make sure that all employees and users are comfortable with the system and adequately trained on it.
Dovetail dental software is 2014 certified for the meaningful use program and proposes an electronic prescriptions plan. The e-prescribing tool was designed in conjunction with the rest of the dental software so you do not have to worry about incompatibilities or software bugs. Our clients can also rest assured that they will have access to the latest features, thanks to our hosted service delivery model.