The impetus of electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) is the reduction of preventable medication errors by generating a legible prescription checked via e-prescribing software for drug-drug and other interactions. Although the adoption of e-prescribing among physicians is growing, the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations that all prescriptions be routed electronically by 2010 certainly has not been met.
To provide an update on e-prescribing use among primary care physicians (PCPs), describe their experience with e-prescribing, and provide insight into prescribers’ decisions to implement e-prescribing in their practices.
An Internet-based survey was administered to a national convenience sample of physicians. The respondents were categorized into e-prescribers or non-e-prescribers. Data to describe demographic characteristics, respondents’ experiences with e-prescribing, and respondents’ decision to implement e-prescribing were collected. Nonparametric tests were used to test differences in the factors influencing e-prescribers’ and traditional prescribers’ decisions about electronic prescription implementation.
Four hundred forty-three PCPs participated in the study. There were no significant differences in the demographic characteristics of e-prescribers and non-e-prescribers. Most e-prescribers (83%) reported satisfaction with their e-prescribing system and a preference for e-prescribing over traditional prescribing. Although 22% of respondents indicated that they have started and stopped e-prescribing, most have resumed or intended to resume e-prescribing in the near future. More than half of the respondents reported that they are experiencing problems with their e-prescribing software.
E-prescribing appears to be present in many types of primary care practices and geographic areas of the country. Despite their satisfaction with and preference for e-prescribing, PCPs still appear to be experiencing problems with e-prescribing software. Implications of these study results for the pharmacy profession are discussed.
Jariwala KS, Holmes ER, Banahan III BF, McCaffrey III DJ. Adoption of and experience with e-prescribing by primary care physicians. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy [Internet]. 2012 Jun 12;In Press, Corrected Proof. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1551741112000423