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La mayoría de los médicos ahora e-prescriben

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | July 16, 2014
Most physicians are ditching manually written prescriptions and embracing e-prescribing, according to a recent Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology report.

The researchers used data from Surescripts — an e-prescription network that is used by most community pharmacies in the U.S. — and found that the number of physicians e-prescribing with an electronic health record grew from 7 percent in December 2008 to 70 percent in April 2014.

Currently, Minnesota has the highest amount of physicians e-prescribing — 100 percent — and Alaska has the lowest — 48 percent.

Two policies implemented between that time period are what led to the increased use of e-prescribing, according to the report. The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act, also known as the "eRx incentive" program, was put into place in 2008 and it shells out financial incentives to physicians who e-prescribe.

Meanwhile, the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs, or the "meaningful use" program that started in 2011, included an objective about e-prescribing.

But the physicians are not the only ones increasing their e-prescription use — the pharmacies have as well. During the same time, the number of community pharmacies that were able to accept e-prescription increased from 76 percent to 96 percent.

In Delaware and Maine 99 percent of the community pharmacies are able to accept e-prescriptions. And while Wyoming had the largest increase at 39 percent growth, Rhode Island remained fairly stable.

There was also more than a thirteen-fold increase in the growth of new and renewal prescriptions sent electronically during that time period. Only 4 percent of the new and renewal prescriptions were sent electronically in 2008, but in 2013 that number grew to 57 percent.

Minnesota at 89 percent, Wisconsin at 83 percent, and Massachusetts at 77 percent had the highest rate of increase. Although California, Texas, New York, and Florida have the highest volume of prescriptions, the states fall below the national average for e-prescription versus other methods.

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