iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

E-health comes of age as a business issue

E-Prescribing on the rise

From December 2008 to
December 2012, the percentage of providers who use e-prescriptions rose from 7%
to 54%, the percentage of pharmacies actively e-prescribing rose from 70% to
94%, and the percentage of e-prescriptions rose from 4% to about 45%, according
to a recent study.

“Emerging and Encouraging Trends in E-Prescribing Adoption Among Providers
and Pharmacies,” The American Journal of Managed Care, September 20, 2013,

E-Prescribing continues to grow

According to a recent report, 58% of office-based physicians were using e-prescribing by the end of 2011.  Adoption rates of e-prescribing according to practice sizes include:

  • Solo      practitioners: from 31% in 2010 to 46% in 2011
  • 2      to 5 physicians: from 42% in 2010 to 53% in 2011
  • 6      to 10 physicians: from 44% in 2010 to 55% in 2011
  • 11      to 25 physicians: from 34% in 2010 to 46% in 2011
  • 25      to 100 physicians: from 31% 2010 to 35% in 2011
  • 100      or more physicians: from 22% in 2010 to 27% in 2011

Source: “Surescripts Report: Majority of Physicians Meeting Stage 1 Meaningful Use E-Prescribing Measure Today, Many Already Meeting Proposed Stage 2 Measure,” Scurescripts Press Release, May 17, 2012,

E-prescribing and medication adherence

Here is an interesting finding, but it is unclear why this is so…

A recent study showed a consistent 10% increase in new prescriptions that were picked up by patients of physicians who adopted e-prescribing technology, when compared with
physicians who did not use e-prescribing.

Source: “Study: E-Prescribing Shown to Improve Outcomes and Save Healthcare System Billions of Dollars,” Surscripts Press Release, February 1, 2012,

February 13, 2012 | Categories: drugs,healthcare | Tags: , , , , | Comments (0)

E-prescribing Improves Safety and Efficiency, Yet Barriers to Reaching Full Potential Remain


A new AHRQ-funded study, conducted interviews with representatives of 97 organizations, including 24 physician practices, 48 community pharmacies and three mail-order pharmacies using e-prescribing, focused on how e-prescribing is being used for new prescriptions and renewals, the barriers to use, effects on pharmacies’ prescription processing, and strategies to support more effective use of these features.  “Transmitting and processing electronic prescriptions: Experiences of physician practices and pharmacies,” published online in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association states physician practices and pharmacies generally were positive about the electronic transmission of new prescriptions,  but prescription renewals; connectivity between physician offices and mail-order pharmacies; and manual entry of certain prescription information; continue to pose problems as increasing numbers of physicians adopt the technology in response to federal incentives.  Find the study abstract at

E-Prescribing: A tale of two views

A recent study tracked the prescription errors of 19 physicians in an adult ambulatory clinic before and after the switch from an older to a newer electronic health record system, and found:

  • The rate of prescription errors fell from about 36% to about 12% one year later
  • The rate of improper abbreviations fell from about 24% to about 6% one year later
  • 40% of the doctors weren’t satisfied with the implementation of the new system
  • Only one-third thought the new system was safer than the old one
  • 60% reported that the alerts weren’t useful
  • Two-thirds indicated that the new system slowed down drug orders and refills

Source: “Newer Electronic Health Record Systems Reduce Rx Errors, but Doctors Find the Switch Difficult,” Weill Cornell Press Release, May 26, 2011,

E-Prescribing continues to grow

Percentage of Specialists Actively E-Prescribing

Specialty % E-Prescribing
Cardiovascular Disease 49%
Family Physician 47%
Internist 45%
Ophthalmologist 40%
Gastroenterologist 38%
Pediatrician 36%
Obstetrician/Gynecologist 34%
Orthopedic Surgeon 24%
Other* 19%


* Other includes specialists such as urologists, neurologists and oncologists

Source: Surescripts. The National Progress Report on E-Prescribing and Interoperable Healthcare. May 2011.

E-prescribing of generics may be limited by pending legislation

Drug Store News – February 11, 2011
Bills introduced in the legislatures of nearly a dozen states have pharmacy benefit managers and the generic drug industry fearing that the bills could lead to limits on doctors’ abilities to prescribe generics through e-prescribing.

The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, the main lobby for PBMs, said the bills would prohibit doctors from seeing lower-cost drug options, including generics and preferred brands; would prevent the e-prescribing software from showing safety information; and would disallow lower-cost pharmacy options.

The bills are pending in Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and South Dakota.

Read more here:

Innovation is the Key to Success

Editor’s note: Innovation over the next ten years will lead to economic opportunities both in jobs and reducing health care costs.


Providers are using Web services to improve communications
Physicians and health care groups increasingly are using Web-based programs to handle e-visits, e-prescribe medications and share medical records with patients and other providers, all without the need for an IT staff or servers. Several hospitals in New Jersey that all had separate electronic medical records systems agreed to use the Web-based communication service RelayHealth to help physicians and patients communicate more effectively.HealthLeaders Media (6/23)