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E-Prescribing: Clinical and Economical Advantages

3 minute read

Electronic Prescribing, also known as e-Prescribing, allows medical professionals to send patient prescriptions to pharmacies digitally, making the process easier and more efficient.

Healthcare professionals can also use electronic health record systems to store data and previous health records of a particular patient.

Digitally transferring information eliminates errors during the process. This means dosages can be more precise and instructions are more straightforward. 

With electronic systems, clinicians can automatically process and refill thousands of prescriptions simultaneously, increasing efficiencies and minimising that 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 remember specific details about the patient to prescribe the correct drug. 

In this instance, all the necessary details are displayed by clicking on the allergy information on the E-Prescription screen. After careful examination, the appropriate antibiotic can be prescribed and sent to the pharmacy by clicking 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 learn more.


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.

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.


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