E-prescribing is, by definition, “the process of using an electronic device to write, modify, review, send, and communicate drug prescriptions.” Given the increasing usage of technology throughout every aspect of healthcare, its no surprise that eRx is on the rise. With its rising prevalence, understanding ePrescribing is more important than ever.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of 6 interesting facts about ePrescribing.
The market for ePrescribing is predicted to reach a value of $887.8 million by the end of 2019.
That’s a huge amount of growth, considering its overall market worth in 2013 was around $250.2 just 6 short years ago in 2013. That makes its predicted growth at a whopping 23.5 percent annually. The driving forces behind this boom are cited as cost savings, improved efficiency and accuracy by industry experts.
9 out of 10 pharmacies in the United States can accept electronic prescriptions.
And yes, this includes popular, easily accessible options like CVS and Walgreens. These prescriptions can vary from birth control to blood pressure medicine and even to controlled substances—though many states have laws and regulatory measures in place for the latter, especially in lieu of the ongoing opioid crisis.
Most often, ePrescription adoption varies by practice size.
According to SureScripts, more than half of e-Prescribers (54.9 percent) are in practices with five or less physicians. Medium practices are a little further behind, with only 30 percent reporting e-prescription use, while large practices—with 20 or more providers—have the lowest rate, with only 19.9 percent.
ePrescribing was first included in the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003.
Since then, the CMS has launched an eRx incentive program and included ePrescribing under the umbrella of meaningful use. The results have been financially astounding, as mentioned in our first fact.
There are 4 major benefits of ePrescribing.
Or, at least there are according to a study published in the Online Research Journal: Perspectives in Health Information Management. These benefits include:
Patient safety: ePrescribing has been found to reduce adverse drug events related to medication prescriptions and filling—error rates decreased from 42.5 per 100 prescriptions to only 6.6 per 200 prescriptions.
Efficiency: While ePrescribing may take 20 seconds longer per patient than writing out a prescription, overall time is still saved. How? Prescribers spend less time clarifying issues, such as prior authorization and refill requests, as the software runs thorough checks without involvement of the patient or pharmacy.
Cost savings: A SureScripts analysis projects $140 to $240 billion in savings over the course of 10 years—largely due to increased medication adherence.
Medication adherence: The study also found a 10 percent increase in patients picking up their ePrescriptions compared to written ones.
However, according to the same study, there are 3 major ePrescription barriers, including:
Cost: Implementing any new technology requires substantial investment in the system itself as well as the accompanying training. The majority of interviewed providers cited a lack of funds as their reason to opt out of adopting ePrescribing.
System errors: While human error is a real and pervading issue when it comes to prescribing, technology doesn’t remove its likelihood of occurring entirely. Users can choose to ignore system warnings, or the system itself may have errors.
Legal issues: ePrescribing involves the electronic transmission of data, which makes said data vulnerable to cyber criminals and privacy concerns.
ePrescribing is only predicted to become more of a part of every day healthcare activities. Most healthcare vendors offer it as a part of their services now—including InSync.
If you’d like to learn more about our in-house ePrescribing feature, click here to schedule a demo.