Skip to content Skip to navigation

Study: E-Prescribing Barriers Remain

November 22, 2011
by root
| Reprints

Both physician practices and pharmacists recognize the importance of electronic prescribing in terms of patient safety and saving time. However according to a study funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), both groups face barriers to realizing the technology's full benefit. The study is published online today in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

Electronic prescribing, or e-prescribing, has multiple potential benefits, including helping to reduce the risk of medication errors caused by illegible or incomplete handwritten prescriptions. The study focused on a key aspect of e-prescribing: the electronic exchange of prescription data between physician practices and pharmacies, which can save time and money by streamlining the way in which new prescriptions and renewals are processed.

Physician practices and pharmacies generally were positive about the electronic transmission of new prescriptions, the study found. However, prescription renewals, connectivity between physician offices and mail-order pharmacies, and manual entry of certain prescription information by pharmacists—particularly drug name, dosage form, quantity, and patient instructions—continue to pose problems.

Researchers at the Center for Studying Health System Change, Washington, D.C., conducted 114 interviews with representatives of 24 physician practices, 48 community pharmacies and three mail-order pharmacies using e-prescribing. Community pharmacies were divided between local and national companies.

Physician practices and pharmacies used e-prescribing features for electronic renewals much less often than for new prescriptions. More than a quarter of the community pharmacies reported that they did not send electronic renewal requests to physicians. Similarly, one-third of physician practices had e-prescribing systems that were not set up to receive electronic renewals or only received them infrequently.

Physician practices reported that some pharmacies that sent renewal requests electronically also sent requests via fax or phone, even after the physician had responded electronically. At the same time, pharmacies reported that physicians often approved electronic requests by phone or fax or mistakenly denied the request and sent a new prescription.

The study noted that resolving e-prescribing challenges will become more pressing as increasing numbers of physicians adopt the technology in response to federal incentives. Physicians can qualify for Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record incentive payments by generating and transmitting more than 40 percent of all prescriptions to pharmacies electronically, excluding prescriptions for controlled substances, as part of the HITECH Act of 2009.

Topics

News

Survey: Cloud Technologies Helping Healthcare Organizations Improve Productivity, Efficiency

September 23, 2016
Ninety-five percent of current healthcare organization cloud infrastructure users are planning to increase their usage going forward, and among healthcare organizations not using cloud today, 58 percent of respondents said they are likely to do so in the next two years.

Study Finds Wide Variability in Effectiveness of CPOE Tools in Pediatric Hospitals

September 23, 2016
Researchers investigating the safety of CPOE systems at pediatric inpatient facilities found that while systems on average are able to intercept a majority of potential medication errors, their effectiveness varied widely among implementations.

Saint Francis Health System Acknowledges Breach, but Doesn’t Pay Ransom

September 22, 2016
Despite acknowledging that it had been the victim of a data breach involving ransomware earlier this month, the Tulsa, Okla.-based Saint Francis Health System decided not to act on the ransom demand, according to media reports.

Indian Health Service Awards $6.8 Million Contract to Avera Health for Telemedicine Services

September 22, 2016
Avera Health, a Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based health system will provide telemedicine services for seven hospitals and eight health centers within the Indian Health Service (IHS), as part of $6.8 million contract.

Provider Associations Laud Bipartisan, ACO-Focused Legislation

September 22, 2016
Four major healthcare professional associations on Thursday publicly expressed support for legislation aimed at modifying the Medicare Shared Savings Program for ACOs in order to ease providers’ concerns

AMIA Seeks Out Support for Health IT Safety Strategy, other Innovation Initiatives

September 22, 2016
The Bethesda, Md.-based American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) took to Capitol Hill this week seeking Congressional support for a national health IT safety strategy, as well as to fund efforts such as the Precision Medicine and Cancer Moonshot Initiatives.

Dr. Mostashari Gives “Report from the Field” Inside Look on Aledade ACOs

September 21, 2016
Farzad Mostashari, M.D., founder of Aledade, a company focused on physician-led accountable care organizations (ACOs), co-published a report this week looking at the highs and lows of Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ACOs in light of recent performance results released by the government.

Dignity Health, Catholic Health Initiatives Collaborating on Precision Medicine Program

September 21, 2016
San Francisco-based Dignity Health and the Englewood, Colo.-based Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) are collaborating on a large, community-based precision medicine program that could be available to approximately 12 million patients annually.

Walgreens Adds Teledermatology to its Digital Health Platform

September 21, 2016
Walgreens has developed a skin care platform that will be available digitally through Walgreens.com and the Walgreens mobile app and includes a connection to teledermatology services.

Study: 30 Percent of Patient Data Breaches Involve Business Associates

September 21, 2016
So far in 2016, third-party data breaches have impacted 4.5 million patients, indicating that third-party business associates pose an alarming risk to patient data, according to a new report from Protenus and DataBreaches.net.

Surescripts to Offer EHR Vendors Free Use of Record Locator Service until 2019

September 20, 2016
Surescripts, the Arlington, Va.-based operator of a national clinical electronic network, has announced that it will offer electronic health records (EHR) software vendors free access to its National Record Locator Service (NRLS) until 2019.

USDA Announces Funding for Seven Telemedicine Projects in Rural Areas

September 20, 2016
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Monday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding funds to seven telemedicine projects in rural areas to expand access to healthcare and substance misuse treatment.

FDA Launches Competition for Development of Naloxone App

September 20, 2016
In an effort to spur innovation around the development of a mobile phone app to help combat opioid overdose, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a Naloxone App Competition.

Early Results of Bundled Payments Model Indicate Reduced Costs, Improved Quality for Several Clinical Episodes, CMS Says

September 19, 2016
The Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) initiative has shown promising results to reduce Medicare spending in 11 out of 15 clinical episode groups, according to an analysis of the program in CMS's second annual evaluation report.

FBI Urges Organizations to Report Ransomware Incidents to Federal Law Enforcement

September 19, 2016
The Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a public service announcement last week urging victims to report ransomware attacks to law enforcement to help the FBI gain a more comprehensive view of the current threat.

Pages