SOURCE: Surescripts

Surescripts

May 12, 2011 12:11 ET

Surescripts Report: Federal Incentives to Support Health IT Helped Grow Nation's Use of E-Prescriptions by 72 Percent in 2010

According to Latest National Progress Report on E-Prescribing and Interoperable Healthcare, One in Four Prescriptions Is Now an E-Prescription and E-Prescribing Is Now Used by 36 Percent of Office-Based Physicians in the U.S.

ARLINGTON, VA--(Marketwire - May 12, 2011) - Surescripts today announced the release of "The National Progress Report on E-Prescribing and Interoperable Healthcare" for 2010. The report is the fourth in an annual series that tracks the status of e-prescribing adoption and use in the United States. This year's report measures the growth of e-prescribing from 2008 -- before the advent of federal incentives -- through 2010 and includes new data that provides further detail on physician adoption of e-prescribing and electronic health records.

The number of prescribers routing prescriptions electronically grew from 74,000 at the end of 2008 to 234,000 by the end of 2010 -- representing 34 percent of all office-based prescribers and 36 percent of office-based physicians. E-prescribing adoption rates are highest among cardiologists (49 percent) and family practitioners (47 percent). In terms of practice size, adoption rates are highest among practices with five to 10 physicians (44 percent) and two to five physicians (42 percent).

Other highlights from the report include:

  • The number of electronic prescriptions in 2010 grew to 326 million, up from 190 million e-prescriptions in 2009. By the end of 2010, approximately 25 percent of eligible prescriptions were prescribed electronically.
  • In 2010, approximately twice as many patient visits to doctors' offices included the opportunity for physicians to access a patient's prescription benefit information and medication history in order to prescribe safer and lower-cost prescriptions.
  • At the end of 2010, approximately 91 percent of community pharmacies and six of the largest mail-order pharmacies in the United States were able to receive prescriptions electronically.

"Electronic prescribing is now well on its way to becoming mainstream practice," said Harry Totonis, president and CEO of Surescripts. "The vision that pharmacies and PBMs had more than 10 years ago -- replacing phone-, fax- and paper-based prescribing with e-prescribing -- is being realized today through improved medication management, increased patient convenience and reduced costs for all.

"What's more, the factors behind the growth in e-prescribing are serving as a model for broader adoption and use of health IT," said Totonis. "E-prescribing has grown based on the unprecedented collaboration between the public and private sectors and the realization of tangible benefits by all participants. We at Surescripts are working to leverage this experience and our commitment to neutrality, collaboration and transparency in order to expand meaningful use, improve healthcare outcomes and lower costs."

In addition to tracking numerous measures of health IT adoption and use, the report details what is driving the growth of e-prescribing and interoperable healthcare and gives recommendations for how to continue that growth. For a downloadable copy of "The National Progress Report on E-Prescribing and Interoperable Healthcare," go to www.surescripts.com/report.

Profiles in Interoperable Healthcare
New to this year's report are a series of profiles highlighting the efforts of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Butler Health Systems and Surescripts' own board of directors. The profiles illustrate how leaders throughout the healthcare community are working to enable and improve the meaningful use of health information.

The report also features a byline from Surescripts' chief quality officer, David Yakimischak. Yakimischak details how Surescripts' is setting the standard in health information exchange by aiming to achieve 100 percent reliability of e-prescribing -- from the time a prescription is first prepared by a prescriber to the time the medication is dispensed and at all points in between.

About Surescripts
The Surescripts network supports the most comprehensive ecosystem of healthcare organizations nationwide. Pharmacies, payers, pharmacy benefit managers, physicians, hospitals, health information exchanges and health technology firms rely on Surescripts to more easily and securely share health information. Guided by the principles of neutrality, transparency, physician and patient choice, open standards, collaboration and privacy, Surescripts operates the nation's largest health information network. By providing information for routine, recurring and emergency care, Surescripts is committed to saving lives, improving efficiency and reducing the cost of health care for all. For more information, go to www.surescripts.com and follow us at twitter.com/surescripts.

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