Electronic prescriptions among U.S. office-based prescribers increased 71% to 326 million in 2010, compared with 190 million the previous year, according to an annual progress report from e-prescribing network vendor Surescripts.

Major drivers of the increase, according to report authors, include the electronic health records meaningful use incentives program and Medicare's e-prescribing incentive program, particularly among physicians without EHRs. Other findings from the 2010 analysis of e-prescribing include:

  • Six large mail-order pharmacies and 91% of community pharmacies were able to receive e-prescriptions at the end of 2010.
  • The number of e-prescribers between the end of 2008 (before the meaningful use program) and the end of 2010 increased by 216%, to 234,000 from 74,000.
  • The physicians with the highest e-prescribing adoption rates are cardiologists (49%) and family practitioners (47%).
  • Small- and mid-sized physician practices now are adopting e-prescribing at a higher rate than larger practices, with a 42% adoption rate for smaller organizations, only 2% lower than larger practices.

Joseph Goedert writes for Health Data Management, a SourceMedia publication.

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