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  The Health Record Review
by Jeff Rowe, Editor

E-prescribing continues rapid growth

While there are at least two sides to every story, one of the more one-sided stories in health IT is the degree to which e-prescribing has taken hold across the healthcare sector.

By “one-sided”, of course, we mean e-prescribing is widely viewed in a positive light, and a new briefing paper from ONC gives some numbers that reveal just how quickly e-prescribing is being adopted.

The brief describes changes in e-prescribing at the national and state level between December 2008 and June 2012, and in it ONC examined changes in rates of physician e-prescribing, pharmacy capability to accept e-prescriptions and the volume of e-prescriptions. 

Some of the findings include:

·     In December 2008, 7% of physicians in the U.S. were e-prescribing using an EHR; by June 2012, almost half (48%) of physicians were e-prescribing using an EHR on the Surescripts network.

·     As of June 2012, twenty-three states had more than half of their physicians e-prescribing.

·     States that had the highest growth in percent of physicians e-prescribing using an EHR include New Hampshire, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota from December 2008-June 2012.

·     Massachusetts (77%), New Hampshire (74%), and Iowa (73%) had the highest rate of physicians e-prescribing through an EHR.

·     From December 2008 to June 2012, nineteen states increased the percent of physicians e- prescribing through an EHR by 50% or more.

·     The growth in e-prescribing has not been limited to physicians. In the same period, the percent of community pharmacies enabled to accept e-prescriptions grew from 76% to 94%. 

·     Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas had the largest increases in community pharmacies enabled to accept e- prescriptions.

·     The vast majority of pharmacies are enabled to accept e-prescriptions in Rhode Island (97%), Delaware (98%), and Nevada (96%).

The full report can be found via a blog post on the ONC Buzz blog.