ATTN: Pharmacists

The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy is proposing changes to the ways in which prescriptions for controlled substances are written, hoping to impose ICD-1O codes. ICD-10 codes are based upon the International Classification of Diseases, published by the World Health Organization, which uses unique alphanumeric codes to identify diseases and other health problems. These records are used by healthcare professionals for storage assistance, and retrieval of diagnostic information; ICD records are also used in the compilation and publication of national mortality / morbidity statistics.

For those pharmacists who use e-prescribing, software updates would likely be implemented; for those who use paper prescriptions, ICD-10 codes would require additional fields. For pharmacists who do not currently include ICD-10 codes in their prescribing software or electronic medical records, they would be required to locate the accurate ICD-10 code prior to filling prescriptions. These changes would likely add to the administrative burdens of pharmacists, as they would be compelled to obtain information from prescribers or prescribers’ agents prior to prescription dispensations. Further concerns focus on privacy, whether e-prescribing systems will be able to accommodate these changes, and–perhaps most importantly–concerns that these requirements would take away significant time from patient care.