The long-term care industry in November is changing its standard for electronic prescribing, as the federal government is requiring that those who e-prescribe must use the SCRIPT standard of the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs.
Many long-term care facilities that have been e-prescribing have used Health Level Seven standards because SCRIPT has not supported LTC and other post-acute care workflows. However, version 10.6 of SCRIPT better supports workflows and is the standard that the industry must adopt when e-prescribing, says Terri Weckle, senior vice president of strategic products at PointClickCare, a vendor of clinical, financial and administrative software serving 9,000 skilled nursing and assisted living facilities.
Gaps still exist with SCRIPT, Weckle cautions. The largest gap is the length of the description of a medication, with a limit of 140 characters. The problem is that prescriptions for complex orders can exceed the limit and a facility will have to follow-up with the pharmacy by fax with additional information. PointClickCare has reached out to NCPDP about adding more characters to the medication description but a resolution has not yet been reached.
Consequently, LTC and other post-acute care facilities will need to maintain two processes for electronic prescribing--one for most orders and another process for complex orders. Further, moving to SCRIPT 10.6 also means organizations may need to test the standard with their EHR vendor, Weckle says.
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