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The Essentials of E-prescription App Development: Why, When, and How

01 Apr 2022

17 Min

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The domain of telemedicine and the transition from paper document management to electronic one has never been more in demand than during the global pandemic of COVID-19. Modern technologies aim to minimize contact between doctors and patients to reduce the number of infected ones. An excellent opportunity to realize these objectives is electronic or e-prescription software development. This solution allows obtaining prescriptions and doctor's recommendations quickly, efficiently, and most importantly, safely, both for yourself and for the other patients.

According to statistics, the global e-prescribing market was amounted to $1.2 billion by 2020 and is forecasted to progress to $3.3 billion in 2025. Such rapid progress is due to the increasing adoption of electronic prescriptions around the world.

This article reveals the e-prescription app development process in detail, software implementation in your current workflow, its significance within telemedicine, product classification, and functionality.

What Is an E-prescription App and How Does It Work?

E-prescribing or electronic prescribing is a digital process that enables doctors or other medical workers to prepare and provide prescriptions to pharmacists/ patients via the application/ website instead of traditionally applying handwritten or faxed recommendations.

The formed electronic prescription itself is automated, simple to comprehend, has high precision, and has all errors eliminated. The e-prescription app development is a way to cut down the risks that increase with the regular prescribing prepared manually.

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Consequently, e-prescribing doesn’t require contact via text/calls, providing customers safety and progressing the effectiveness of the services. The use of paperwork in the processing of prescriptions in pharmacies is entirely eliminated when applying e-prescription solutions.

The primary objectives of implementing e-prescribing into the medical ecosystem are the following:

  • Decrease medical errors
  • Cut down pharmacy expenses
  • Enhance prescriber as well as pharmacy effectiveness
  • Exclude handwriting interpretation issues
  • Reduce or entirely exclude the need in calls between physicians and patients
  • Eliminate physical document flow
  • Accelerate prescription addition requests

Each party is delivered with a row of significant benefits with e prescription software development:

E-prescriptions working concept

E-prescriptions working concept

Medical Consultants

Such specialists can take great advantage of the client-focused software solutions since they can safely store, access, and inspect assessment records.

Pharmacists

The pharmacists' services' quality with e-prescribing depends on the rightness of the provided recommendations in guidance with clients and doctors.

Healthcare Establishments

E-prescription app development allows hospitals/ healthcare vendors to define where to increase the accuracy indicator as well as simplify the management and extraction of previous records.

Physicians

These apps allow physicians to avoid ambiguity and treat patients most accurately. Customized e-prescription applications allow improving the quality and security of the therapy process. An electronic prescription can be easily converted into a digitized file and can be sent across pharmacies.

The data transmission can be classified depending on the roles involved in this process:

Physician-pharmacy

This type of app implies an electronic prescription created by a physician and delivered to the main server. Next, the pharmacy receives and processes it, and after that, places the order.

Physician-patient

With this type of e prescription app development, the physician ensures the prescription to the patient after the appointment online. In addition, clients are provided with a QR code to display in the pharmacy to receive the prescribed products.

E-prescription software is a way to liquidate the equivocality of prepared recommendations and treat patients by avoiding obscurity. Such telemedicine products raise the security level within the prescriptions provided and allow transferring the document to the electronic file and ensure pharmacy access.

Patients

We may classify this type of role by the following two sections:

  • In-patient (conceded in the medical institution)
  • Out-patient (called OPD as well, such clients are not admitted to the hospital facility)

With the e-prescription app, patients are delivered and have access to the new or refilled prescriptions, medication timetable, as well as order medications from local pharmacies.

E-prescribing profit: maximal usage by positions

E-prescribing profit: maximal usage by positions

Why Do Healthcare Companies Need E-prescription Apps?

eRx mobile app development ensures a row of solutions to the great challenges of the medical industry. Healthcare vendors have always been putting immense effort into enhancing the services they deliver, and the latest telemedicine solutions can significantly help them.

Medical Errors

The main issue causing side effects as well as health-related problems is the prescribed wrong medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analysis indicated over 100,000 annual cases of hospitalizations in the USA are connected with an assumed healthcare error.

Moreover, Statista states that there are from 44,000 to 98,000 deaths of patients in the same country's medical establishments early because of prescription inappropriateness. Such severe analytics results in roughly 326 million US dollars in casualties worldwide.

There is even a special notion of such healthcare errors called adverse drugs (ADE). The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have estimated that an ADE has caused approximately 1.3 million emergency room annual visits in US healthcare centers.

The above-mentioned statistics were provided prior to the global pandemic of COVID-19. Needless to say, this disease has sharpened the ADE situation. Healthcare institutions started running out of specific medications like hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, and ibuprofen.

Solid Security

The e-prescription application’s functionality comprises automated and safe verifications for doctors to generate the prescription and sign it. To receive the medication in the pharmacy, the application provides a QR code for the patient to display it and simplify the purchasing process. Therefore, all the in-app actions are done faster and more optimized, and secured.

Want to maximize the protection level in your application? Find out the latest approaches that guarantee mobile data security and safe authentication here

Prescription Appropriateness

There’s a range of individual factors that impact the choice of the most appropriate medicine. When generating the electronic prescription, doctors are able to observe all the patients’ details, such as health conditions, treatment history, allergies, and previous prescriptions. With this data in hand, the physician can pick the medical production which suits all the requirements and specific circumstances of patients.

Processes Automation

The prescription processing is highly rapid with such applications. The entire process is automated and secured, so there’s no need to add the list of medicines manually. Patients’ and physicians’ interactions are simpler and less dangerous (as they are happening remotely). Pharmacists, in turn, receive verified electronic prescriptions, prepare and process the order.

When Should You Switch to an E-prescription App?

Let’s observe the main benefits, solutions, and opportunities your business will obtain with eRx mobile app development.

Handwriting Flaws Elimination

Unreadable handwriting is the main issue solved by e-prescribing. It’s a common problem when clients order similarly spelled medical products because they can’t comprehend what the prescription says. Such a situation results in both financial and health loss.

Easier Decision Making for Physicians

Due to the fact that healthcare providers have access to the health-related details as well as the prescription history of patients, the entire treatment appropriateness increases. As Hippocrates said: “First, do no harm”. With e-prescription, the doctor makes decisions on what medications to recommend considering all the individual peculiarities as well as the previous treatment of patients. Thus, the healthcare services are maximally efficient and precise.

Handy Medication History Storage

The main challenge of traditional prescriptions is that they can be damaged/ lost easily. In addition, it’s not that convenient to store all the papers with medications’ names for a long time. E-prescription software development solves this issue and keeps all the history of prescribed drugs.

Efficient Therapy Considering Patient’s Peculiarities

The therapy is enhanced with e-prescribing, as the doctor can fully observe the patient’s medical state and substitute drugs that cause severe symptoms or serious side effects. Instead, all the individual points are covered by the doctor when generating a prescription.

Schedule Observing and Tracking

Both sides, such as the patient and doctor, can track the timetable of taking medications. It allows refilling prescriptions within the treatment process. What’s more, e-prescription software essentially has a notification reminder implemented to help patients take medications timely and meet the schedule.

Rapid Prescription Processing

Conventional prescriptions imply a single-sheet paper history and require an individual prescription for controlled drugs that can be delivered exclusively to mail-order pharmacies or retail spots. Therefore, the manual process is fatiguing and slow. E-prescription app simplifies sending the list of medicine directly to mail-order pharmacies. With this approach, the workflow is sped up, optimized, and automated with this approach, which is an obvious benefit.

E-prescribing advantages

E-prescribing advantages

Basic and Advanced Functionality of E-prescription App

Here’s the list of possible functionality by roles to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and enhance your application with more advanced features after the application launching:

E-prescription Application Functionality for Patients

Displaying the prescribing history:

With this function, users are able to access the list of all their prescriptions from any device through the application. The usefulness of this opportunity also relies in the fact that physicians can observe the history of medications taken with the patient.

Medicines and their information:

The previous feature should contain such integral details as dosage, medicine time, potential side-effects, deputy drugs, as well as price, etc.

Notification reminder:

To make it easier for patients to meet their timetable and avoid taking medications, the app should have an implemented reminding feature.

Ordering medical products:

Online ordering enables patients to get all the essential drugs delivered to their address or select the nearly-located pharmacy and pick the order there themselves. The feature should also allow real-time order tracking. In the same section, users should be able to cancel their order or edit its details.

Order history:

Clients should be able to review their previous orders and repeat them if required.

Payment gateway integration:

The app should integrate a row of payment systems so that patients can pay for their orders online.

Patient data:

This feature refers to the screen containing such information as insurance data, personal data, treating physicians, patient status, allergies, etc.

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E-prescription Application Features for Physicians

Medications database and e-prescribing:

Physicians should be able to search for specific drugs and view their details. After that, the feature enables generating electronic prescriptions.

Patient details displaying:

This feature is essential, as it accesses doctors to the information like treatments patients are currently having, allergies, blood group, and essential prescription history.

Prescriptions cancellation and editing:

Along with prescription generation, physicians should be able to cancel the treatment or change it.

Pending list of medications:

This feature allows doctors to follow the pending drugs of specific clients. To illustrate, the medication course is finished, and the upcoming one can be started by patients from the app, keeping the medical vendor up with the progress.

Accessing and sharing e-prescriptions:

Physicians can access and send electronic prescription lists to pharmacies via the application.

Generating insights:

This feature implies preparing patient-related/practice-concerned statistics in Excel, Word, PDF, or any of the following formats: HTML, CSV, MHT, RTF, XLS, XLSX, Text, or Image file.

Documentation opportunities:

The medical adherence of the patient can be simply stored in the app, comprising which drugs have been recommended and when their list should be renewed.

E-prescription Application Functionality for Healthcare Vendors

Patient data

Health peculiarities of each client accessible via the feature to healthcare vendors allow accurate and efficient decision making concerning the therapy.

Prescription history

Medical background can help medical providers select a proper medication and observe what drugs are more suitable for the patient.

Request renewal

Nursing staff can access renewed prescriptions to the pharmacists through this feature and alert them on time regarding the following refill dates.

Drugs dosage and timing

Having such data on hand, caretakers can define and prescribe the correct dosage as well as timing for the medications faster.

E-prescription Application Functionality for Pharmacists

Patient data:

As it was previously described, this feature provides pharmacists with access to the health state and therapy background of patients.

Physician data:

Similar to the patients’ data, this feature provides doctors’ information, like insurance, personal details, and also enables observing the present e-prescription and client state.

E-prescriptions delivery and storing:

This function enables receiving electronic prescriptions and keeping this data in the application.

New orders:

The feature allows order requests to transfer to the pharmacy system.

Orders operating:

The received orders can be accepted/declined by the pharmacists via this feature.

Order history:

Pharmacists can view the clients’ previous orders as well as their details and status (completed, pending, new).

Financial operations:

When clients purchase medical products via the app, pharmacists can track and receive the payment from their side.

Medications database:

With this feature, pharmacists can access all the medications currently in and out of stock. Pharmacists should also be able to search for the product by the brand/ name, category, specification, and other details.

The following image represents the exemplary list of solutions which may be applied for e-prescription software engineering (both web and mobile):

Possible solution stack for e-prescription solution creation

Possible solution stack for e-prescription solution development

How to Make the Application More Efficient and Advantageous?

Let’s list some aspects of eprescription app development you should think over in order to improve the product quality and rapidly launch it.

Compliance With Guidelines and Certifications

Here’s the list of legislative acts your e-prescription app should comply with to be ready for integration into your business depending on the location/region where your telemedicine product will be used:

  • HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) administers the privacy of healthcare data conveyance on electronic solutions as well as traditional cases.
  • GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a law spreading in Europe that concerns the confidentiality of electronic data. It embraces all digital products that are accessed to the client’s sensitive info.
  • USCDI (United States Core Data for Interoperability) is compliance controlling the binding between a patient and a healthcare establishment ensuring medical services.
  • FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) is a regulation covering data processing via APIs (for telemedicine software).

In addition, healthcare service vendors must obligatorily stick to the local guidelines and requirements that vary from region to region and are essential laws to comply with. For instance, your app will have to additionally obey CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) or Canadian PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) to be a lawful, decent, and competitive product for the chosen regions.

Wondering how to comply with HIPAA requirements avoiding pitfalls? This post will answer your questions

Security of Processed Personal Data

Following from the previous point, the data processing should be completed within a potent security system. Solution architects for the e-prescription apps should apply specific security development and assessment approaches to prevent diverse manual and automatic flaws that may influence data protection as possible and take certain actions to guarantee the safety of sensitive data the app comprises.

You should negotiate the security of your product with your e-prescription app development company and select the most suitable approaches for your specific case.

Identity Verification

To generate electronic prescriptions, physicians should verify their identity and sign the recommendations they prepare.

Similar to the traditional physical prescriptions, the electronic ones should be signed with a “qualified electronic signature” (QES). This solution maximizes the app’s security: physicians are required to attach the electronic health professional card (eHBA) as well as enter the PIN.

To implement this complex technology in your solution, you should thoroughly select an e-prescription mobile app development company with great expertise in the development of products in telemedicine.

Online Purchase of Medical Products

To allow online drug ordering, developers should integrate payment systems into the applications. Therefore, patients are able to order and complete payments for their medications without closing the app. For this, Braintree and Stripe APIs are commonly used.

Discover more details regarding mobile app payment gateway integration in this article

Development and Cost of eRx Applications

When starting an e-prescription app development, you may go for custom software architecture. With this approach, the product is created according to your specific requirements, business goals, and audience. The functionality has no bounds, so you may implement all your most sophisticated ideas within the software.

Another option to select is utilizing readymade solutions that offer a limited list of features and less customization. The final product built based on such technologies has lower quality and the appropriate development expenses. Nonetheless, the first approach will quickly recoup software architecture expenses and boost profit generation for the company.

Despite this fact, let’s take a look at the list of most in-demand frameworks for e-prescription app development:

Truepill

This API for the pharmaceutical niche builds a connection between the pharmacy and the customer. It is helpful for e-prescription processing, and medical services optimization.

Dosespot

This solution allows applying Surescripts & EPCS certified interface for e-prescription app development. Dashboards and screens are customizable, which gives an opportunity to select a specific color palette to match your brand.

Mdtoolbox

A cloud-based solution for e-prescribing that can be implemented into the software or serve as an autonomous turnkey software.

However, such solutions should be avoided in utilization when developing products in such a serious domain as telemedicine. There is no universal ready-made template for every project and case. Therefore, the adoption of this approach indicates a lack of company professionalism, reducing the user experience.

The process of e-prescription app development from scratch incorporates the following steps:

Project Idea and Concept

The initial and pre-development stage of the project refers to exploring your project concept, needs, requirements, and company’s goals. This step also includes elaborating a strategy for a project accomplishment.

Market Analysis and Requirements

Diving deeper into the application’s details, this stage implies creating a document with specifications. It traditionally contains an in-depth description of all the application’s peculiarities, like features and functionality to implement, business logic, etc. You should also include a team structure as well as an outlined roadmap for the project.

UI/UX Design and Prototyping

After drawing up the requirements towards the e-prescription solution, the team should proceed to work. During the UI/UX development phase, designers build the interface for the product, the elements’ layout, color theme, etc. Keep your design sufficiently laconic and intuitive to enhance the user experience.

Keep your software excellent and demanded with the latest UX trends that are worth your attention

Architecting and Features’ Implementation

During this stage, the team of software developers builds the backend of your application and implements all the desired features as well as functionality. They also integrate necessary APIs, for example, the payment systems, that are a must-have for e-prescription software.

Quality Assurance and Testing

QA engineers conduct a row of manual and automated tests to verify the app operation and eliminate all of the functioning flaws/bugs (if any). Another aim of this stage is to assess whether the application is ready for deployment and complies with the guidelines as well as regulations of the market.

Launching and Maintenance

After undergoing numerous QA tests, an app is ready to be placed on the market. Depending on the platform you’ve decided to occupy (iOS/ Android), the product will be verified by the App Store/ Google Play experts and accepted/rejected to be deployed.

It’s important to note that the e-prescription app development doesn’t finish with the last stage. To keep your product sought-after and engage a broader audience to use it, you should frequently update the functionality and support it. As a result, the software lifecycle will be longer, and the application will keep up with the dynamic market as well as user requirements.

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Let’s now discuss the primary factors that determine the final app development services costs:

Team Composition

The e-prescription app development team should comprise at least the following row of integral specialists.

  • 1 Business Analyst
  • 1 Project Manager/ Product Manager
  • 1 UI/UX designer
  • 1 mobile app developer (iOS/ Android)
  • 1 backend developer
  • 1 Quality Assurance engineer

Region of the Chosen Vendor

Hourly rates of the mobile development team listed above tend to vary due to the location. Let’s take a look at the costs all around the world, summed up in the table below:

Average hourly rates of tech experts by regions and positions

Region/ positionWeb Backend ($/hour)Web Frontend ($/hour)Mobile app developer (iOS/Android; $/hour)Design ($/hour)DevOps ($/hour)Quality Engineer ($/hour)Project Manager ($/hour)Business Analyst ($/hour)

Austria

55

55

55

45

55

45

45

45

Belgium

55

55

55

45

55

45

45

45

Canada

65

65

65

55

65

55

55

55

Denmark

55

55

55

35

55

45

45

45

UK

65

65

65

55

65

55

55

55

Estonia

45

45

45

35

45

35

35

35

Finland

45

45

45

35

45

35

35

35

Germany

55

55

55

40

55

45

45

45

Israel

75

75

75

45

75

65

65

65

Italy

50

50

50

50

50

40

40

40

Latvia

45

45

45

35

45

35

35

35

Luxembourg

50

50

50

45

50

40

40

40

Netherlands

50

50

50

40

50

40

40

40

Norway

45

45

45

35

45

35

35

35

Portugal

50

50

50

45

50

40

40

40

Spain

55

55

55

50

55

45

45

45

Sweden

45

45

45

35

45

35

35

35

Switzerland

60

60

60

50

60

50

50

50

United States

70

70

70

55

70

60

60

60

We may indicate that the most cost-efficient software development services can be found in Central Europe. Yet, please, remember, that adequate hourly rates have nothing in common with the lower quality. This region is full of experienced talents with proven tech expertise. Software development vendors there will demonstrate excellent performance at a reasonable price.

The most effective and optimal way to expand your business is to architect an app that integrates perfectly with your existing company or medical facility environment. The primary solution to optimize business processes and fit your specific case is a custom eprescription app development. To create a qualitative, sophisticated, and complex product for reasonable costs, you should apply to an experienced software development vendor. Such a credible partner will not only deliver a flawless software solution but essentially will consult you on your project and negotiate how to implement your idea in the best way possible.

Cleveroad Experience in E-Prescription App Development

Cleveroad is a certified software development company with headquarters in Central Europe. Our experience comprises 10+ years of providing help to startups and businesses on diverse scales using the latest solution stack as well as development approaches.

Our professional Solution Architects will eagerly deliver custom EHR, EMR, ERX, and other digital products for Healthcare and Telemedicine.

To optimize workflow processes within such medical establishments as hospitals, laboratories, and pharmacies, Cleveroad delivers top-notch, turnkey products to simplify digital transformation. To illustrate our expertise in practice, let us introduce our Telemedicine project - tapGP.

TapGP from Cleveroad

The tapGP project is aimed at building software that will allow receiving medical services online, such as online medical consultations. The product complies with the certifications and regulations of the UK local authorities. The functionality of the solution is built for each role, covering physicians, patients, as well as admins of the entire system. The tapGP solution operates 24/7, ensuring medical services from the UK principal practitioners and clinicians.

TapGP solution from Cleveroad

TapGP solution from Cleveroad

As a result, our clients have received a turnkey solution registered by the General Medical Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council, Care Quality Commissions. Our turnkey solution optimizes and automates the medical services delivery as well as receiving to enhance the Telemedicine industry.

Boost your telemedicine business

Cleveroad experts are ready to deliver a custom-built e-prescription solution

Frequently Asked Questions

E-prescribing or electronic prescribing is a digital process that enables doctors or other medical workers to prepare and provide prescriptions to pharmacists/ patients via the application/ website instead of traditionally applying handwritten or faxed recommendations.

The process of electronic prescribing is aimed at the following goals:

  • Decrease medical errors
  • Cut down pharmacy expenses
  • Enhance prescriber as well as pharmacy effectiveness
  • Exclude handwriting interpretation issues
  • Cut down or entirely exclude the need in calls between physicians and patients
  • Eliminate physical document flow
  • Accelerate prescription addition requests
  • Unreadable handwriting elimination
  • Easier decision making for physicians
  • Handy prescription history storing
  • Prescribing considering the patient’s peculiarities
  • Medications' timetable tracking and reminding
  • Faster e-prescription processing
  • Complying with healthcare guidelines and regulations
  • Ensuring the security of confidential data processing
  • Implementing identity verification
  • Integrating payment gateway to allow online orders
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