The use of electronic prescribing in the U.S. nearly tripled in 2009, according to an annual report released by Surescripts.
By year-end, about 18% of eligible prescriptions were routed electronically, up from 6.6% at the end of 2008, according to the company's 2009 National Progress Report on E-Prescribing. By tracking traffic across its network, Surescripts tallied 191 million electronic prescriptions in 2009 compared with 68 million in 2008.
The report cites the coming federal subsidies tied to electronic prescribing as one of several factors driving the growth. Others include increased adoption by large systems and clinics and broadened certification programs of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology.
Other key findings in the report include that the number of physicians and other prescribers using electronic prescribing more than doubled to 156,000 from 74,000. The number of electronic requests for prescription benefit information increased to 303 million from 79 million. The number of prescription histories delivered to prescribers grew to 81 million from 16 million.