Widespread physician use of electronic-prescribing tools remains a long way off, according to a report issued last week by the eHealth Initiative, a not-for-profit consortium of clinical healthcare technology boosters.
Surveys cited by the report indicate 5% to 18% of physicians use some form of electronic-prescribing system. "While this represents a significant increase over the past three to five years, it certainly does not qualify electronic prescribing as a standard practice," the report said.
A key barrier to wider adoption is that cost is borne by physicians, whose workflow is also initially slowed by the technology. Progress in designs, particularly with an aim to make systems faster and easier to use, is likely to help adoption, the report said, but incentive programs must be put in place to compensate physicians.