Seven out of 10 prescribers use e-prescribing, and virtually all pharmacies are now equipped to receive them.
Seven out of 10 prescribers use e-prescribing, and virtually all pharmacies are now equipped to receive electronic prescriptions, a recent government report has found.
The report, “E-Prescribing Trends in the United States,” was produced by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Using data from Surescripts, the report’s authors examined trends in e-prescribing. Their analysis included all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as chain, franchise, and independent pharmacies.
According to the report, significant increases in e-prescribing can be attributed to the 2008 Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act and to incentive programs established by Medicare and Medicaid that began in 2011.
In 2008, a mere 7% of healthcare providers were prescribing electronically. The report also noted the following:
• In December 2008, in all but one state, physicians on the Surescripts Network were using EHR to e-prescribe at a rate
• By January 2011, physicians in 35 states were e-prescribing with EHR at a rate above 20%, with five states above 40%.
• By April 2014, physicians in every state were e-prescribing with EHR at a rate above 40%, and in 28 states, that number reached at least 70% of physicians.
“The growth in e-prescribing has not been limited to physicians. In that same period [2008 to 2014], the percent of community pharmacies enabled to accept e-prescriptions grew from 76% to 96%,” the reported stated. “Nearly all community pharmacies are enabled to accept e-prescriptions in Delaware (99%) and Maine (99%).”
According to the report, 57% of new and refill prescriptions were sent electronically in 2013, and as of April 2014, nine of 10 pharmacies in every state were able to accept e-prescriptions.
Minnesota (89%), Wisconsin (83%), and Massachusetts (77%) had the highest rate of new prescriptions and refills sent electronically.
“However, the four states with the highest volume of prescriptions - California, Texas, New York, and Florida - are all below the national average,” the report said. “This presents an opportunity to increase the proportion of new and renewals sent electronically among these states.”