Karen Nash is a medical reporter and media consultant based in Monroeville, PA.
"We're just starting, but I'm not looking forward to it."
I can write a Viagra prescription in 35 seconds and hand it to the patient. It's going to take 4 or 5 minutes to e-prescribe, and I won't know if the patient gets it.
The bonus reimbursement is the only reason we're doing it."
"We haven't started e-prescribing yet because our practice plan is to go with EMR by 2010 and start e-prescribing then. I don't like to be the very first to get into any of this anyway, plus the climate continues to change on reimbursement, so we decided to ease into this, but we don't want to be the very last, either.
As urologists, we routinely write about a dozen prescriptions. I'm hoping e-prescribing can streamline that process. I hope it will cut down medical errors, although I don't get many phone calls because people can't decipher my writing."
Michael K. Zenni, MD
"We've had our EMR since 2002, so we started the e-prescribing a while ago. It's worked well; I assume it's been good for patients. We get notified automatically on refills, so that saves the time of patients calling and it's more accurate because you don't have to worry about legibility.
In the office, we order medication through the chart: We just pull your name down and the medication and as long as we have the pharmacy in our data bank, it goes right out.
We haven't filed for the bonus reimbursement because it's not a simple process. Medicare doesn't just give you money. There are a certain number of steps, and we haven't done that yet."
Marc B. Applestein, MD
"We've been e-prescribing for about 6 months.
The convenience is nice. I can write a quick note and my nurse gets it off to the pharmacy.
I'm concerned about long-term control and fraudulent use of prescriptions. A person can steal a prescription pad, but I hope the e-prescriptions have encryption that will keep us safe. We had an issue here with someone getting hold of a physician's DEA number and calling in prescriptions at several places around the region. Fortunately, the pharmacy double checked.
I hope we get the bonus reimbursement; I'm leaving that up to my office manager. You can't walk away from that, but that was not our motivation."
Michael M. Wilson, MD