A tool for enabling physicians to check prescriptions for pediatric patients within the hospital is now showing value for doctors who treat young patients in ambulatory practices.

Physician’s Computer Company (PCC), which develops electronic health records and practice management systems used by more than 1,200 pediatricians, recently embedded medication management tracking software from First Databank into its product for physician practices.

Originally designed for inpatient use, the FDB MedsTracker eRx tool was recently customized by First Databank for pediatric practices; the company says it’s conducted tests of the product with at least a dozen providers.

Reviews so far have been positive, enabling doctors to ensure the accuracy of prescriptions—that’s particularly important for young patients, for whom prescriptions have to be closely monitored to ensure that dosages are correct.

“I like that if I sent a prescription, it remains in the review-and-sign box for some time, allowing me to correct it if a mistake was made,” says Alison Gaudet, MD, of Providence Pediatric Practice in Media, Pa. “Then, the system updates the visit note to only show the corrected script.”

Robin Warner, MD, practicing at Union Pediatrics in Union, Ky., also piloted the medication tracking software, and says it reduces extra clicks when prescribing; with some more advanced coding, it also issues fewer warnings when prescribing certain treatments, such as inhalers. Documentation also is significantly automated and streamlined, says Warner, who previously had to manually write some scripts for young patients.

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A big benefit in the upgrade to MedsTracker is the reporting module, Warner says. Now, she can do prescription auditing, see if patients are picking up their medications, know when refills are sent and if they are picked up, and she can even find out if another physician is prescribing the same medicine to one of her patients.

First Databank built the pediatric module from scratch and represents its first foray into pediatric care. The company historically has been focused on the hospital inpatient market, so it had to rewrite scripts to transition from use in the hospital pharmacy to those appropriate for outpatient pharmacies.

For instance, Warner explains, hospital-based prescribing for an asthma inhaler may include the number of milligrams or micrograms in the inhaler. The outpatient prescription may be considerably shorter than that, just specifying the number of inhalers to be prescribed.

As the First Databank MedsTracker eRx was being developed its initial use at Union Pediatrics did not go well as the software was not ready for prime time, so the anticipated release date was delayed as fixes were made.

After some fine-tuning during the pilot testing stage, Warner found it was easier to use than she would have expected and tightly integrated with the EHR system from PCC; the records company offers web seminar training as well as videos and online documentation tools to assist clients in learning how to use the MedsTracker tool.

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