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While e-Prescribing Transactions Soar, Providers Slower to Adopt EPCS

May 19, 2015
by Gabriel Perna
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In another indication that electronic prescribing (e-Prescribing) is nearing critical mass, Surescripts’ annual report indicates that the Arlington, Va.-based company processed 6.5 million transactions in 2014, more than American Express and PayPal.

The company has the industry’s biggest ePrescribing network connecting healthcare providers, pharmacies, vendors, and other organizations. The report indicates that 56 percent of physicians and 95 percent of pharmacies processed 1.2 billion electronic prescriptions on the Surescripts network. The report shows how over the course of 10 years, ePrescribing has gone from almost nonexistent to the dominant way medication is prescribed, accounting for 67 percent of all new prescriptions.

Surescripts’ network connected 900,000 healthcare professionals, 61,000 pharmacies, 3,300 hospitals, 700 EHR software applications, 45 immunization registries, and 32 state and regional networks in 2014.  This accounted to information on 230 million patients representing 71 percent of the U.S. population. The company’s network isn’t solely focused on ePrescribing as it includes medication history and clinical message transactions as well.

The report also touched on electronic prescribing for controlled substances (EPCS). Made legal in 2010 by the Drug Enforcement Agency, EPCS increased in adoption by 400 percent in 2014. However, only 1.4 percent of providers have enabled it, compared to 73 percent of pharmacies.  Nebraska, California and Michigan ranked as the top three states for EPCS, based on Surescripts data. North Dakota and Montana were at the bottom. Every state but Missouri has legalized EPCS.



Hi Gabe,

Here is a link to my story from the American Nursing Informatics Association meeting a few weeks ago about the challenges of doing an EPCS implementation. This health system felt it was worth doing, but it is not an easy project to pull off.....


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