It is widely recognizedthat electronicprescribing (e-prescribing)systems canreduce medicationerrors, lower healthcosts, and enhancepatients' adherenceto their drug regimen.Nevertheless, at least9 of 10 physicianshave yet to adopt thisnew technology.
According to the results of a study publishedrecently in Health Affairs, fewerthan 10% of the nation's physicians currentlyuse e-prescribing as part of electronichealth record systems—a findingthat supporters of these systems say"underscores the fact that more must bedone to encourage the widespread adoptionof e-prescribing by physicians."
Lobbyists for the nation's pharmacybenefit managers blame the patchwork ofconflicting state and federal e-prescribingrules for discouraging physicians fromadopting this technology. "Congressshould act quickly to create a national, uniforme-prescribing standard that will savelives and reduce costs for consumers andpayers," officials of the PharmaceuticalCare Management Association (PCMA)said in response to the new statistics.
The PCMA officials stated that a national,uniform standard is supported by awide range of organizations representing>240 million Americans with prescriptiondrug benefits provided through public andprivate payers, including the US Chamberof Commerce, AARP, the AFL-CIO, andConsumers Union.