Many physicians e-prescribing medications, says study

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According to a report published by e-prescribing technology vendor Surescripts, a majority of physicians across the U.S. are using some form of e-prescription system in their daily practice, a trend driven by increased adoption of medical informatics systems.

The announcement coincides with the sixth Surescripts Safe-Rx Awards, which are presented to the 10 states most effectively utilizing e-prescription technologies.

Key findings of the study indicate that 52 percent of physicians use e-prescribing on a regular basis. In addition to growing adoption of e-prescribing technology, more than 94 percent of pharmacies nationwide are able to dispense medications from prescriptions submitted electronically.

“In three short years, the nation has moved from less than 10 percent to more than 50 percent of physicians e-prescribing,” Harry Totonis, chief executive officer of Surescripts, said in a statement. “This represents one of the most significant milestones achieved to date in the nationwide effort to adopt and achieve meaningful use of health information technology.”

According to Information Week, Massachusetts is leading the way in e-prescription use, with more than 70 percent of doctors prescribing medications electronically through a medical informatics network. Around 43 percent of all medications prescribed in Massachusetts were processed using clinical informatics networks.

Delaware, Michigan, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania also ranked highly in the list of the top 10 states using e-prescribing. South Dakota, Iowa, Oregon and North Carolina saw large increases in adoption in particular, and were new to the top 10 rankings.

Surescripts said the adoption of e-prescribing technology was observed in all 50 states in 2010. Many of the top 10 states were also commended for their increasing use of specialized e-prescribing systems, such as community medication histories and formulary data.