Research: E-Prescribing Systems Beneficial but Costly, Providers Say

April 11, 2014 in News

Eighty percent of providers say the cost of implementing electronic prescribing systems has been a barrier to their adoption, according to research published in Perspectives in Health Information Management, FierceHealthIT reports.

For the study, researchers conducted a literature review of 47 sources.

Researchers found that using e-prescribing systems — which can be integrated into electronic health record systems or operate as stand-alone technology — can save health systems in the U.S. a total of $27 billion annually.

In addition, e-prescribing systems can help prevent more than two million adverse drug events annually, of which 130,000 are potentially life-threatening, according to the study.

According to the review, such systems can reduce medication errors and potentially save health systems $140 billion to $240 billion over a decade.

Barriers to Adoption

However, a majority of providers note that the price of implementing e-prescribing systems can sometimes be a deterrent to adoption.

According to FierceHealthIT, adopting an e-prescribing system requires health IT training and support, and federal incentives sometimes are not sufficient to offset the high cost.

The review found that other barriers to adopting e-prescribing technology include:

  • Privacy and legal issues;
  • Technology glitches; and
  • Workflow problems (Hall, FierceHealthIT, 4/10).
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