Healthcare IT adoption goes beyond implementing solely electronic medical records. Another important device that improves patient care is electronic prescribing. In fact, the eRx program requires physicians to prescribe medication electronically at least 25 times in order to receive financial incentives.
Because of the federal requirements, e-prescribing has grown in use among a number of states. In states with the most e-prescribers, more than half of all prescriptions are sent electronically, while states with the highest rates of physicians who use e-prescribing are approaching 90 percent. Surescripts, a provider of this software, released a report that listed the states utilizing e-prescribing the most.
Minnesota topped the list, bypassing Massachusetts, which held first place for five years in a row, according to Healthcare IT News. The list was put together after an analysis of e-prescribing use by payers, pharmacies and physicians in every state.
Minnesotan prescribers were able to use the electronic system 61 percent of the time when routing medication referrals to the pharmacy. Massachusetts and New Hampshire had the highest rate of physician adoption at 86 percent.
"Minnesota has made impressive gains," Harry Totonis, president and CEO of Surescripts, said in a statement. "This is helping healthcare providers improve workflows and patient care, and sets the stage for expanding the use of electronic data for additional improvements in healthcare quality and delivery."
E-prescribing growth has changed the way of routing medical prescriptions as well as tracking medication history. A main reason behind the adoption of this software is not only federal regulations but the benefits of lowered costs, greater efficiency and improved patient care.
Physicians working in states that haven't topped the list may want to invest in healthcare IT consulting services, which will provide help with implementing electronic prescribing systems.