Implementation costs, alert fatigue cited as obstacles for practices
The study, in the form of a systematic review, examined the findings of 47 articles looking at e-prescribing-which the authors define as “the computer-based electronic generation transmission, and filling of a prescription”-from a variety of clinical and financial perspectives. The results appear in an article titled “Electronic Prescribing: Improving the Efficiency and Accuracy of Prescribing in the Ambulatory Care Setting” in the Spring 2014 issue of Perspectives in Health Information Management.
The benefits found in the review include:
In addition, e-prescribing systems that use MDS can help doctors choose lower-cost alternatives to brand-name drugs can reduce prescription drug costs. The authors cite a 2005 study involving 19 physicians that found a 17.5% decrease in prescriptions for high-cost drugs compared with the control group, leading to a savings of nearly $110,000 over 12 months.
Barriers to the greater use of e-prescribing include:
Legal issues usually occur when providers need to prescribe controlled substances. Although it is legal to prescribe such substances electronically, the process is time-consuming and cumbersome, and requires expensive hardware and software to implement.