Half of Docs are Now E-Prescribing

Almost half of physicians nationwide report e-prescribing through an electronic health record system, a 41% increase over December 2008. Plus 88% of community pharmacies are enable to accept e-prescriptions.

Almost half of physicians nationwide report e-prescribing through an electronic health record (EHR) system, according to a study by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). This represents a 41% increase since December 2008.

ONC used data from Surescripts between December 2008 and June 2012 and all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, increased the amount of physicians e-prescribing using an EHR.

As of June 2012, 48% of physicians nationwide were e-prescribing, according to ONC. Smaller practices have been leading the way, according to a separate survey in May from Surescripts. This number is up significantly from just 7% in December 2008.

In December 2008 the only state with more than 20% of physicians e-prescribing was Massachusetts. As of June 2012 all states have increased e-prescribing by EHRs by at least 28 percentage points. New Hampshire, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota saw the largest growth in percent of physicians e-prescribing with an EHR from December 2008 to June 2012.

ONC report

The increased use of e-prescribing obviously hasn’t been limited to only physicians as more and more community physicians are able to accept e-prescriptions. The amount of community pharmacies enabled to accept e-prescriptions increased by at least 75% from December 2008 to June 2012. All states now have a rate of at least 88%.

The volume of new and renewal prescriptions sent electronically has increased ten-fold since 2008.

“In 2008, only 4% of new and renewal prescriptions were sent electronically,” according to the ONC report. “Our forecasting using data through June 2012 predicts that 45% of new and renewal prescriptions will be sent electronically in 2012.”

According to research by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, doctors using e-prescribing systems embedded with decision support tools saved $0.70 per patient per month or $845,000 annually per 100,000 insured patients. Plus, e-prescribing could improve patient adherence to medication regimens, saving the health care industry more money.