The opioid epidemic currently causes more than 40,000 deaths annually in the U.S. While the majority of abusers were not treated for chronic pain, according to the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than a third of the abusers received the drugs through a doctor or other prescription source. Managing prescriptions for a physician’s full caseload can be an arduous responsibility. Whenever and wherever they are contacted, doctors responding to legitimate patient needs often have to deal with delays, multiple logins, and limited access to relevant patient data.

The DrFirst iPrescribe mobile app enables physicians to prescribe medication from any location. Founded in 2000, Baltimore-based DrFirst develops software and services that help physicians access patient data and provide care. With the app, doctors can view Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) databases. Physicians can check a patient’s medication history and automatically receive drug and allergy alerts. iPrescribe makes it easy to generate complete sigs (medication codes) for commonly prescribed meds. Doctors can also see their patient’s out-of-pocket costs for medication if other choices might work as well and cost the patient less due to their insurance coverage. Renewal processing  and pending script checking functions add to iPrescribe’s time-saving effect. Fast and accurate prescription handling and more efficient response to patients can give doctors a greater sense of control over a sometimes sluggish system.

The opioid epidemic has many moving parts, and no one solution will provide the total answer. Responsive applications for physicians that give real-time access to all patient data and activity as well as speed up and simplify the prescription process can go a long way to helping doctors comply with regulations while providing timely health care.