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E-prescribing now used by 25 percent of office-based prescribers

Article

Twenty-five percent of all office-based prescribers now use electronic prescribing, according to a new report by e-prescribing network Surescripts.

Twenty-five percent of all office-based prescribers now use electronic prescribing, according to a new report by e-prescribing network Surescripts.

The number of clinicians routing prescriptions electronically increased from 74,000 at the end of 2008 to 156,000 by the end of 2009, according to the report.

Key drivers of e-prescribing in 2009 included government incentives through programs such as the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, and the broadening of programs by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology. Other key drivers included increased adoption by large clinics and health systems; government and non-government education and awareness programs; and initiatives by payers, pharmacy benefit managers, and states and regions, according to the report.

To support the continued growth of e-prescribing, the Drug Enforcement Administration should finalize rules permitting the electronic transmission of prescriptions for controlled substances, the report's authors suggest. They also advocate closing gaps in adoption by small practices, development of regional health information exchanges, and encouragement of electronic health record providers to become certified for all e-prescribing services.

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