Raj Desai Leads an Effort to Implement E-Prescribing and Improve Patient Care
Raj Desai serves as Practice Administrator at Integrated Family Medical Center, a one-physician family practice in Lady Lake, Florida. The practice implemented an electronic health record (EHR) in 2009 to help the practice provide better care for its patients, many of whom are over 65.
Human Challenges, EHR Solutions
Many of Integrated Family Medical Center’s patients have several prescriptions – some as many as twenty – and only live in Florida part-time, so ensuring continuity of care and proper medication management is a challenge. Many of the practice’s patients would frequently forget which of their physicians prescribed medication or how many refills were available. Furthermore, due to the fact that many of Integrated Family Medical Center’s patients only live in Florida part-time, the practice deals with a wide variety of different insurance plans and keeping track of the different medication formularies was difficult. Mr. Desai recognized that confusion over whether a drug was covered by a patient’s insurance affected medication adherence, as many of the practice’s patients were being prescribed expensive medications.
E-Prescribing Helps Integrated Family Medical Center Improve Care
To help Integrated Family Medical Center better manage its patients’ medications, Mr. Desai helped the practice implement e-Prescribing, which enables the practice to generate, submit, and manage prescriptions electronically. Mr. Desai has seen several improvements in practice operations due to e-Prescribing, noting that e-Prescribing “has led to positive changes across all aspects of the practice’s work.” For example, e-Prescribing is helping Integrated Family Medical Center:
- Improve medication management: E-Prescribing enables the practice to efficiently track its patients’ prescriptions, which is particularly helpful for patients who are only in the Florida area part of the year.
- Increase medication adherence: The practice’s EHR system allows providers to query insurance formularies to ensure prescribed medications are covered by insurance, which helps the practice reduce costs for its patients and increase medication adherence.
Due in large part to Mr. Desai’s leadership, Integrated Family Medical Center is successfully using e-Prescribing and leveraging meaningful use to improve care. Thanks in part to e-Prescribing, the practice has seen a 47% increase in diabetes medication adherence and a decrease in hospital readmissions among its patients. In Mr. Desai’s words, “Despite the challenges of EHR implementation, once we reached our goals it was clear that the effort was worthwhile.”