Healthcare News & Insights

Survey: Half of doctors now use e-prescribing

E-prescribing is starting to catch on among physicians, according to a recent survey, as doctors begin recognizing the benefits of electronic prescriptions and respond to federal pressure to adopt the technology. 

Reports from earlier this year showed e-prescribing was catching on more slowly than other health IT tools. That was despite the fact that electronic prescriptions have some significant advantages over paper scripts — namely, fewer dangerous errors caused by handwriting issues and other human mistakes.

However, e-prescribing is quickly becoming more popular. Right now, just under half (48%) of doctors in the US are using electronic prescriptions, according to a recent report from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, based on information from e-prescribing network Surescripts.

In comparison, only 36% of prescriptions written in 2011 were done so electronically, according to an earlier report from Surescripts. And in 2008, just 7% of doctors in the country were using electronic prescriptions.

One factor pushing increased use of e-prescribing tools: More pharmacies are now able to process those prescriptions. Nearly all pharmacies (94%) can do so now, compared to 76% in 2008.

Also, starting next year, doctors will face a new Medicare penalty if they aren’t e-prescribing and can’t argue they should be exempt due to hardship.

Is your organization currently using e-prescribing? Have plans to do so in the near future? Let us know in the comments section below.

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