Minnesotans lead nation in use of e-prescribing: survey

August 8, 2012

A new survey finds big gains in e-prescribing among Minnesota's physicians, pharmacies, and payers. Where does your state rank?

E-prescribing has caught on big in Minnesota. Doctors in the Gopher State had the highest rate of e-prescribing use in 2011, according to the seventh annual “Safe-Rx Awards” survey from the e-prescribing service Surescripts.

The survey measures prescription routing, use of benefit information, and use of medication history among physicians, pharmacies, and third-party payers in each state. Data for each category are weighted and blended to come up with an overall ranking. Massachusetts, ranked number two in the survey, had occupied the number one spot for the 5 years before 2011.

“Minnesota has made impressive gains in the adoption and use of all three components of e-prescribing,” Harry Totonis, president and chief executive officer of Surescripts, said in a statement. “This is helping healthcare providers improve work flows and patient care and sets the stage for expanding the use of electronic data for additional improvements in healthcare quality and delivery.”

The survey showed that, in 2011, 61% of eligible prescriptions in Minnesota were routed electronically, compared with 37% in 2010; 88% of patient visits involved an electronically transmitted prescription benefit request, compared with 48% in 2010; and 25% of patient visits included a medication history response, compared with 10% in 2010.

The Minnesota Department of Health credits the state’s strong showing to the state’s 2008 e-prescribing mandate. The mandate required providers, pharmacies, and pharmacy benefit managers to e-prescribe by the beginning of 2011.

Other survey findings:

  • Massachusetts and New Hampshire have the highest rate of physician adoption, at 86%.

  • In nine states, more than 70% of doctors route prescriptions electronically.
  • North Dakota had the largest year-over-year improvement, from number 47 to number 18.

After Minnesota and Massachusetts, South Dakota, Delaware, and New Hampshire had the highest rates of e-prescribing. The lowest rates were in Nevada, California, Louisiana, Alaska, and the District of Columbia.

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