TECH: ePrescribing update

I wrote a brief piece for the newly renamed Digital Healthcare and Productivity on ePrescribing. Don’t get too carried away by the headline in the piece—I did know about Surescripts before this week! But while the dog-food has now been put into a can with an easy release top (eRx apps connected to pharmacies), it’s still not clear how fast the dogs are going to eat it.

Those of you in the tech world might want to come back here to comment.

In the late 1990s several companies promised to
bring handheld ePrescribing to America’s physicians. ePrescribing was
supposed to improve efficiency for doctors, particularly by reducing
calls from pharmacies to their offices. But most savings from
ePrescribing go to pharmacies, whose employees spend less time entering
data, and to health plans because ePrescribing helps increases generic
substitution. In addition, many early systems ended up generating a fax
from office to pharmacy becausethere was no easy way to transmit those
prescriptions electronically.

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4 replies »

  1. have you heard of a report by Prudential on the e-precribing market, claims its a $5B/yr market (will be). Am trying to locate it to buy or read

  2. I’ve been ePrescribing for over two years on Long Island. Unfortunately, the pharmacies and Surescripts still cannot get their act together. I’m still reduced to having my scripts sent out from my Treo and then faxed by the server to the pharmacies.
    Whenever I’ve attempted to go completely electronic, i.e. PDA via Surescripts to the pharmacy’s computer, the pharmacists still either ignore the script or do not see it flagged on their end. It’s very frustrating to still have to rely on the pharmacy to have paper in their fax machines!

  3. Hey Matthew, I’m just working on an update report on the Southeast Michigan E-prescribing Initiative (SEMI), which is a collaborative of the regions two biggest insurers, Blues and Health Alliance Plan, and the Big Three automakers. They just signed on the biggest doc group in the region (1,900 docs in group and solo practices), and one of the things they learned was that the docs don’t want handhelds. They want to do their eprescribing from either tablet PCs or desktops in the exam room, but primarily the former, because they are looking ahead to the adoption of a full EMR, which won’t run on a handheld.

  4. So, help me understand…I thought the big driver of ePrescription adoption by practioners was to avoid mistakes, which could have a financial impact but is very difficult to measure?