Friday, May 06, 2011

This Certainly Makes Sense As Reflecting Some of the Problems With E-Prescription Adoption.

The following appeared a day or so ago.

Study outlines docs' eRx barriers

By Joseph Conn

Posted: May 5, 2011 - 12:00 pm ET

Tags: Information Technology, Meaningful Use, Physicians, Policy

Clunky data-management tools and the juice not being worth the squeeze in obtaining information were cited as the two main barriers to the use of electronic prescribing systems in a Center for Studying Health System Change study of 24 physician medical-group practices.

The research, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, found that physicians in most of the survey group's medical practices had access to patient formulary information, but just slightly more than half could access patient medication histories using their e-prescribing systems. The researchers found that many physicians "did not routinely review these sources of information when making prescribing decisions."

Respondents cited two key barriers to use of e-prescribing systems, according to the report: cumbersome tools to view and import data into patient records, and data "not always perceived as useful enough to warrant the additional time to access and review them, particularly during time-pressed patient visits."

According to Joy Grossman, principal investigator and senior health researcher at the Washington-based not-for-profit center and lead author of the report, "Physician Practices, E-Prescribing and Accessing Information to Improve Prescribing Decisions," the study relied on 114 interviews conducted in 2010. Survey subjects included representatives of 24 physician practices, 48 community pharmacies and three mail-order pharmacies actively transmitting and receiving prescriptions via an electronic prescribing network, Grossman said.

Not surprisingly, physicians in practices with greater access to complete and accurate data and those with easier-to-use e-prescribing systems were more likely to use these features consistently, she and fellow researchers concluded.

Lots more here:

Note that this study does not refer to the routine ‘prescription printing’ as done in Australia by and large, but the actual removal of paper from the loop entirely.

Clearly the issues raised here are ones that are important - especially the requirement for integration of as much patient information and pharmaceutical information as possible while prescribing is being undertaken.

Worth a browse to see how things happen over that large lake!



Anonymous said...

One pharmacy I work at pulls most (80%+) of patients' scripts down using the MediSecure system and each time we do that we receive 15 cents from the government. It's pretty slick and very reliable, a good step in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

Sure, and considering that Medisecure isn't integrated with any pharmacy vendor software yet, and eRx doesn't seem to get much traction from GP's, I rather doubt the honesty of the previous commentators claims.

80%+ of patient scripts! Vendor spruiking, more like

Anonymous said...

"eRx doesn't seem to get much traction from GP's". Medical Director would vehemently disagree with you.

Anonymous said...

I'm not interested in what the vendors say or want one to think. The most reliable source of data is held by the Government. Through Medicare-PBS payments they pay pharmacists 15 cents for every script downloaded electronically from an approved script exchange. They pay the money based on the claims made. When making the claim the pharmacy also has to allocate the number of scripts downloaded against each exchange. This provides a total picture - total scripts downloaded by month, number of scripts from each exchange, total amount claimed by month at 15 cents per script. There is no reason why Medicare wouldn't make that information publicly available.

Anonymous said...

Poor Friday, May 06, 2011 8:57:00 PM just doesn't understand. There is no requirement for a script exchange to be integrated with any pharmacy software. That will no doubt come later. Just as long as the pharmacy can pull down the script electronically that's all that matters in order for us to get paid. That is a good enough motivation for a pharmacy to pull down 80% or more of their scripts provided the scripts are available from the exchange. All that depends on is the diligence of the doctors in sending scripts electronically to a script exchange.