ONC Reports e-Prescribing (eRX) On the Rise

ONC reports on e-Prescribing

Increase in percent of physicians e-prescribing tied to EHR adoption

Yesterday the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) released a report tracking the increase of e-prescribing by physicians. State Variation in E-Prescribing Trends in the United States looks at changes at the national and state levels in e-prescribing between December of 2008 to June of 2012. The ONC in part credits the increase in numbers to providers adopting electronic health records (EHRs) and meeting meaningful use objectives.

From the ONC’s Health IT Buzz blog:

At ONC, the State Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program (State HIE Program) has focused on promoting pharmacy participation in e-prescribing among physicians and pharmacists. ONC’s 62 Regional Extension Centers  are also helping primary care providers from individual and small practice settings across the United States adopt and use EHRs to meet the meaningful use objectives and help to provide safer care to their patients.

The report examines trends in e-prescribing using data from Surescripts and SK&A. Key findings include:

  • In December 2008, 7% of physicians in the U.S. were e-prescribing using an EHR. By June of this year almost half  (48%) of physicians were e-prescribing using an EHR on the Surescripts network.
  • Every state showed double-digit increases in the proportion of physicians e-prescribing using an EHR between December 2008 and June 2012. States with the highest growth in percent of physicians e-prescribing using an EHR include New Hampshire, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. The increase in growth in physicians’ e-prescribing at the state-level was between 28 to 70%
  • As of June 2012, almost half of physicians nationwide e-prescribe through an EHR. This represents a 41% increase since December, 2008.
  • In 2012, approximately 45% of new and renewal prescriptions were sent electronically and overall, the volume of new and renewal prescriptions sent electronically has increased ten-fold.

You can view the complete ONC report here or learn more on the ONC Health IT Buzz Blog.