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Improving Medication Safety with Accurate e-Prescribing Tool

Improving Medication Safety with Accurate e-Prescribing Tool

Successful implementation of CancelRx, an e-prescribing functionality to electronically communicate medication discontinuation orders between electronic health records and pharmacies, can improve medication safety and reduce adverse drug events.

Catching medication mishaps at the source

When providers discontinue patients’ medication in the electronic health record (EHR), clinic staff must manually notify the prescribing pharmacies. Busy staff often overlook this notification step and, despite being removed from the EHR, medications may remain on a pharmacy’s dispensing profile for patients. Dr. Michelle Chui recognized this miscommunication can cause a variety of issues, including confusion by the patient or potential adverse drug events. With a pharmacy background and years of research on reducing medication discrepancies, Dr. Chui explored existing technology that can facilitate communication between providers and pharmacists, yielding positive results.

Bridging the gap of miscommunication

CancelRx is an e-prescribing tool that electronically communicates medication discontinuation orders between EHRs and pharmacies. The technology allows pharmacists to have the most up-to-date prescription information, ensuring that a patient’s medication list in a pharmacist’s system is accurate. Through a direct notification, CancelRx prompts a patient’s pharmacy when a provider discontinues a patient’s prescription. Understanding the pressure pharmacists can feel as the “last line of defense” to detect and identify errors for patient medications, Dr. Chui recognizes the significance this tool has—not only to reduce adverse drug events, but to also ensure medical professionals have access to timely data for their patients.

Ultimately, the e-prescribing tool CancelRx helps pharmacists do the job that they want to do, and do it safely and confidently with their patient population.”
- Dr. Chui

Immediate success

Dr. Chui and her University of Wisconsin-Madison-based team found an immediate and significant increase in successful medication cancelations after CancelRx implementation, raising the rate of proper discontinuations from 34 percent to 93 percent. Pharmacists recognized the importance of CancelRx and agreed that the successful implementation of this prescription cancelation functionality can improve medication safety. Dr. Chui feels this tool is a model that can have significant impact in reducing medication discrepancies, enhancing patient safety, and providing a sense of security to prescribing providers and pharmacists on knowing their patients’ most up-to-date medication information.