Electronic prescriptions are now mandated in the state of New York and other states are poised to follow suit. Is your plastic surgery practice ready for e-prescribe? With many benefits to offer and mandates looming, now is the time to embrace electronic prescribing by selecting the software program that will make the process safe, efficient and easy for all appropriate members of your practice to learn and use.
There are many potential benefits to an e-prescribe system. For the physician, benefits include:
• Streamlines your prescription process, freeing up your time for patient care
• Improves prescription accuracy and eliminates most potential errors
• Allows you to see drug interaction alerts instantaneously
• Improves the level of service you provide to your patients
• Allows you to send authorizations quickly, get medications to your patients faster
E-prescribe also offers numerous benefits for your patients, including:
• Save them time by making prescription process more efficient
• Eliminates paper prescriptions patients have to keep track of
• A safer way for them to request and fill prescriptions
• Provides them with an instant history of all their medications
• Easy access makes prescription process more convenient
This process can be particularly beneficial for plastic surgeons and their patients since the relationship between the two is often limited to the aesthetic procedures. Plastic surgeons get instant access to the patient’s full medication history, ensuring medications they prescribe will not cause any harmful interactions. This process is much more thorough and accurate than simply asking patients to list the medications they are currently taking from memory.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services names three basic components in the e- prescribing process:
Prescriber – Authorized members of your practice should be able to get into the eRx system with a username and password. You can also add additional identification tools to make your system even more secure. Once in the system, you should be able to review your patient’s medication history, prescribe new medication and choose the pharmacy where the prescription will be filled.
Transaction Hub – This is the link between the prescriber, the pharmacy and the pharmacy benefits manager. The hub will determine patient eligibility for the prescribed medication, based on the patient’s complete medication history, and send that information back to the prescriber.
Pharmacy – Once the pharmacy receives the prescription from the transaction hub, the prescription can be filled. Pharmacies can also set up alerts to let providers know when prescriptions are picked up, allowing for better patient care and tracking involving medications.
For plastic surgeons looking to get ahead of the compliance train, PatientNOW offers e-prescription functionality with our RxNow feature. This tool is fully compliant with the federal mandates and is easy enough for everyone in your office to learn quickly. In addition to its efficiency and user-friendliness, RxNow offers superior security to keep your patients’ information safe and private. RxNow is a part of our medical practice software designed to keep your entire practice running efficiently and give you more face-to-face time with your patients.
E-prescribing may not be a mandate in your state yet, but rest assured that mandate will be coming soon. Get RxNow implemented in your practice now and you will be fully compliant before the mandate goes into effect. To learn more, contact PatientNOW at 888-644-2987.
Ransomware is making headlines and striking fear into hospitals across the globe. These computer viruses do not actually steal information from databases, but they can block access by the hospital or practice to the very data they have stored and use every day to manage and care for their patients. If you are concerned about whether a ransomware could hold your practice’s data hostage, PatientNow has a few facts about this alarming trend that you need to know.
Ransomware is a type of computer virus that holds data “hostage” from its owner. The owner of the data must pay a stated amount of money, usually in bitcoins, to have the data released. This ransom is reportedly all the hackers are looking for, and data is returned rather than stolen completely in most cases. However, the data is compromised, and when you are a plastic surgeon with highly sensitive patient information in your database, compromise can be devastating for your practice.
The newest methods of ransomware attacks have proven much more difficult to detect than earlier ransomware viruses. In addition, more recent types of viruses are designed for maximum impact, with a goal of shutting down as much of the business as possible so the owner has no option but to pay the ransom and retrieve the information. Law enforcement is advising against paying the ransom, since there is no guarantee your data will be unlocked and ransom payments are likely to encourage other ransomware viruses to follow. However, when you are a medical provider unable to access patient information, refusing to pay a ransom is not always the easiest option.
Many of the most recent ransomware attacks have been on hospitals and medical groups across the country. In February, a virus hit Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles. The attack was potent enough to force the hospital into paper and pencil mode for a large portion of the operations. The facility ended up paying the $17,000 in bitcoins as ransom to have their systems restored.
Earlier this month, Methodist Hospital in Henderson, Kentucky, faced a similar attack. In this case, the hospital was able to fend off the attack without resorting to paying ransom, by declaring an internal state of emergency and working through their limited Internet access. Eventually, the hospital was able to regain control of their systems.
Just this week, the self-proclaimed largest healthcare provider in Maryland and Washington D.C., MedStar Health, was the victim of a ransomware attack. The group, which operates 10 hospitals and 200 outpatient offices in the area, was forced to disable their network to prevent the virus from spreading. The group has no reason to believe any of its data was compromised at this time. The FBI is looking into this attack as well as some of the other attacks that have left medical providers vulnerable and unable to provide their full scope of services to their patients.
Experts will tell you the best way to deal with a ransomware virus is to prevent it from happening in the first place. To lower your risk of an attack, you can follow these steps:
Refrain from opening any foreign email attachments or Word documents
Always keep your software up to date with the latest versions of your browser, OS and browser plug-ins
Never enable execution of macros in documents without verified senders
Perform your daily activities from a limited user account
When you sign on with the secure software from PatientNow, you are also taking an important step in preventing any type of virus attack, including ransomware. Our sophisticated, state-of-the-art packages feature the best security in the business, ensuring you and your patients are safe from theft. If you would like to learn more about how PatientNow can help protect you from cyberattacks of all kinds, contact our office today at 888-644-2987.
Dr. Charles W. Spenler and the staff of South Bay Plastic Surgeons discuss how they use patientNOW EMR to keep their practice running smoothly and keep patients coming in the door.
“I have used many systems and without patientNOW we could never see as many patients as we do.” — Camille Hayes, Practice Administrator
View the full edition of this NOWnotes here.
I opened my cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery practice about two years ago and I selected patientNOW primarily for its patented system to help with patient retention and growth. I also wanted a product that could be both an electronic medical record and point of sale system to manage my inventory and surgery fees.
Some states will require Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS) in the near future. New York is leading the charge and will require all controlled substances to be ePrescribed beginning March 27, 2015.