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Physicians, pharmacists describe barriers to use of e-prescribing

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Certain barriers are preventing physicians and pharmacies from realizing the full benefit of electronic prescribing systems, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Modern Physician reports.

For the study — which was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality — researchers from the Center for Studying Health System Change conducted 114 interviews in 2010 at 24 physician practices, 48 community pharmacies and three mail-order pharmacies. All of the surveyed entities use e-prescribing systems.

The study found that physicians and pharmacies generally were satisfied with the electronic submission of new prescriptions, and that e-prescribing is used more frequently for new prescriptions than for renewals.
The study also found that:
 About 75% of physician practices said they encountered challenges sending new prescriptions and renewals to mail-order pharmacies;
 Nearly 50% of pharmacies said they often rewrote instructions so patients would understand them;
 About 33% of physician practices said that they are not equipped to receive electronic renewal requests or that they receive them only occasionally; and
 More than 25% of community pharmacies said they do not send electronic renewal requests to physicians.

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