Nearly half of U.S. physicians are now writing prescriptions electronically using their electronic health-record systems, according to a new report from HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. The report relies on data provided by the Surescripts electronic prescription network.
By June 2012, according to the ONC, 48% of physicians nationwide were e-prescribing using an EHR, up from 7% in December 2008. New Hampshire recorded the greatest growth in e-prescribing through an EHR: 70% of physicians in the state were writing EHR-enabled e-prescriptions by this summer, versus 5% who were doing so four years ago. Alaska was the state with the least e-prescribing growth, recording an increase to 32% of physicians using EHR e-prescribing from 4%.
"In the same period, the percent of community pharmacies enabled to accept e-prescriptions grew from 76% to 94%," the ONC report said. "The growth of physicians and pharmacies e-prescribing has corresponded with a tenfold increase in the growth of new and renewal prescriptions sent electronically. In 2008, only 4% of new and renewal prescriptions were sent electronically. Our forecasting using data through June 2012 predicts that 45% of new and renewal prescriptions will be sent electronically in 2012.”
A data brief
containing the numbers is posted on Health IT Buzz, the ONC's official blog.