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E-Prescribing: Clinical and Economical Advantages

Discover cost savings and staff benefits of switching to e-prescribing

5 minute read | 10/02/2023

E-Prescribing: Clinical and Economical Advantages

How Does Electronic Prescribing Work?

Electronic prescribing, also known as e-prescribing, is a technology that allows healthcare providers to electronically send accurate, error-free, and understandable prescriptions directly to a pharmacy from the point-of-care. Instead of writing prescriptions on paper, providers use a secure software to electronically transmit the prescription to the pharmacy's computer system. This technology aims to improve patient safety, increase efficiency and reduce medication errors caused by illegible handwriting or miscommunication.


What Are the Benefits of E-Prescribing For Staff

  • Healthcare professionals can use electronic health record systems to store data and previous health records of a particular patient; centralising all patient information onto one digital platform. 
  • Digitally transferring information reduces the number of errors during the process. This is because human error is minimised, such as misplacing paper information. Creating and storing information digitally removes a barrier such as difficult to read handwriting, therefore enabling more precise doses and easy to understand instructions.
  • With electronic systems, clinicians can automatically process and refill thousands of prescriptions simultaneously, increasing efficiencies and minimising the error rate. This saves a lot of time for the pharmacists and staff who have to verify each prescription.
  • Prescription Doctors can also instantly see the patient’s medical and drug history using the software. This feature saves a lot of time as they won’t need to search for and locate paper notes or files as this will all be logged.

Picture this; a Doctor sees a patient prone to ear infections. The patient requires antibiotics but has an allergy to a particular ingredient. The doctor needs to track down their allergen information. This could be a piece of paper in a physical folder, somewhere... Locating information in this way is very time consuming and can lead to steps being missed if the staff member is already run off their feet.

If the system was digital, all the necessary details will be displayed and easily found through search features. The Doctor could then easily locate the allergy information of a specific patient and of the antibiotic they are looking to prescribe them; it's all available on the E-Prescription screen. After careful examination, the appropriate antibiotic can be prescribed and sent to the pharmacy, with just a click of a button.

There are many other economic and clinical advantages of e-Prescribing and pharmacy stock control portals. They can collectively lead to significant cost savings for the health sector, staff and patients.

Download the Cost-Saving Handout to share to your colleagues.


The Numbers Behind the Theory

For example, according to Dr Shaun O’Hanlon - Chief Medical Officer of the EMIS Group, for a Trust in the North West with 25 wards, 800 beds, 110,000 admissions a year and an annual drugs budget of £23m, e-Prescribing can facilitate:

  • a reduction in prescribing errors by 66%
  • a drop in clinical incidents by 63% (from 11 to 4 in six months)
  • a rise in the accuracy of discharge medication prescriptions from 46 to 93%, and
  • annual recurring savings of over £2m (£5,698 a day)

The savings are broken down:

  • £88,800 for not using paper drug charts.
  • £1.6m from the drug budget through increased formulary compliance.
  • £57,300 in technician staff time (band 4).
  • £79,488 in pharmacist staff time (band 6).
  • £179,398 in nursing, clerical and doctor time.
  • £14,916 from the increased use of patient’s own medicine.

With an e-Prescribing app alone, the average Trust could save £2,019,902 per year, which is made up of the figures outlined above.

Want to know how we calculated these cost savings? Check out our ROI Calculator Explained, where there will be proof behind the stats for all the cost savings your Trust could make by investing in SPARK Fusion.

At present, Electronic Prescribing is proven to be a necessity within healthcare environments as it is used to enhance patient experience and safety, decrease medication errors, and improve pharmacy and GP workflows. Ultimately contributing to saving costs and time.


Make E-Prescribing Cost Saving a Reality

It's all well and good stating how much money the NHS could save if they enacted e-prescribing technology, but how can they get this technology into hospitals? The main issue is providing a platform where patients and staff can access these translation tools. SPARK TSL has the solution. 

It's simple really, just put an iPad next to patients beds. This might sound rather futuristic, but this managed tablet solution has been successfully rolled out to 30% of hospitals in the Netherlands. This impressive feat was achieved by Sentean, a Dutch company that SPARK TSL acquired in 2024. With help from Sentean, we will implement the same solution in the UK. 

Learn for yourself the power of SPARK Fusion and make cost saving on e-prescribing services, (amongst others) a reality.

Discover the Benefits of SPARK Fusion


75% of patients want digital healthcare services

So let’s work together to give it to them, all while optimising NHS processes.

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