Electronic Prescribing (e-Prescribing) has grown by leaps and bounds since 2008, according to a new data brief released by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).
ONC, using data from Surescripts, an Arlington, Va.-based operator of a national clinical electronic network, reports that 70 percent of physicians were e-Prescribing using an electronic health record (EHR) as of April of this year. This is a significant increase, ONC notes, since the passage of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) in 2008 when it was 7 percent of physicians and when the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive programs began in 2010 when it was 24 percent.
The 70 percent is spread across every state and 28 states have at least 70 percent of their own physicians e-Prescribing through an EHR. Every state except four had at least a 700 percent increase in physicians e-Prescribing since 2008, and those four states already had higher rates of e-Prescribing. The states with the highest rate, as of April 2014, were Minnesota, Iowa, Massachusetts, and South Dakota. South Dakota went from one of the lowest rates in 2008 to one of the highest in 2014.
The number of pharmacies in communities that e-Prescribed also increased from 2008 to 2014, up 96 percent from 76 percent. Every state has at least nine that e-Prescribe.
As noted in May of this year, the ONC policy brief reported how Surescripts routed more than one billion electronic prescriptions in 2013.