Use of e-prescription soars

July 15, 2010

The number of e-prescriptions filled last year soared 181% to 191 million, according to "Advancing Healthcare in America," a report issued by Surescripts in Alexandria, Va.

The number of e-prescriptions filled last year soared 181% to 191 million, according to "Advancing Healthcare in America," a report issued by Surescripts in Alexandria, Va. The report also found that over the past 2 years pharmacies have rapidly adopted e-prescribing tools.

By the end of 2009, 85% of community pharmacies and 6 of the largest mail-order pharmacies were able to receive e-prescriptions. Independent pharmacies that were set up to receive e-prescriptions increased from 10,000 in 2008 to 14,000 in 2009. Community pharmacies connected for e-prescription routing rose from 35,000 in 2008 to 39,000 in 2009.

"Feedback from the independent pharmacy community is that this is really saving time, especially as more physicians in a community start to use the technology," said Surescripts spokesman Rob Cronin.

Still, with only 62% of independent pharmacies set up for e-prescribing, the industry can do more to fuel future growth, Cronin said. "Incentives that are available must continue to be made available. Incentives are going to be the key to sustained growth."