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PLAINSBORO, N.J. — More than half of prescribers are writing prescriptions electronically, according to a new study.
The study, conducted by researchers at the Washington-based Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, published in The American Journal of Managed Care, found that e-prescribers have increased nearly eightfold since four years ago. The jump was attributed to provisions in the 2009 economic stimulus bill that provided incentives for Medicare prescribers to use electronic prescribing. In numerical terms, that means the share of doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants using e-prescriptions increased from 7% to 54%, or 47,000 to 398,000.
Meanwhile, 43,000 pharmacies were able to accept electronic prescriptions at the start of the study, a figure that increased to 59,000 by December 2012. In 2009, 61% of rural pharmacies could take e-prescriptions, compared with 75%, but the gap closed last year, as the percentage of rural and urban pharmacies taking e-prescriptions increased to 93% and 94%, respectively.