Electronic prescribing grew significantly from 2008 through 2012, according to a study conducted by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and published last month in the American Journal of Managed Care.
For the study, researchers analyzed data from e-prescribing network Surescripts. They found that:
- Providers who prescribe through electronic health records increased from 7% in December 2008 to 54% in December 2012;
- The number of pharmacies actively e-prescribing rose from 70% in December 2008 to 94% in December 2012; and
- Pharmacies using Surescripts to e-prescribe increased by 24% from December 2008 to December 2012.
In addition, the researchers found that in December 2012:
- 94% of urban pharmacies were actively accepting e-prescriptions; and
- 93% of rural pharmacies were actively accepting e-prescriptions.
According to the study authors, prescribing through EHR systems:
- Correlates with better patient medication adherence; and
- Improves access to patient medication histories and pharmacy benefit information.
However, the study noted that providers face barriers to e-prescribing, including:
- Cost; and
Regional extension centers and health information exchanges have helped providers overcome some of those barriers, according to the researchers (Pedulli, Clinical Innovation & Technology, 10/2; Gabriel et al., American Journal of Managed Care, 9/20; Durben Hirsch, FierceEMR, 9/30).