AHRQ to look at state of e-prescribing

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality wants to know just how many medical practices and pharmacies have implemented functional e-prescribing systems--and what factors help or hurt adoption.

At present, the agency notes, many e-prescribing systems don't have the same features, which makes it difficult to build a seamless national system. Meanwhile, pharmacies seem to be having technical problems in rolling out e-prescribing software. Also, both seem to struggle with IT system problems and integrating e-prescribing into workflow, as well as training and regulatory issues.

To see how these issues play out in the real world, AHRQ is planning to survey physicians, medical directors, IT administrators, pharmacists and other relevant staff members at 110 organizations. It plans to spend two years on the survey.

Survey topics will include electronic transmission, how physicians use data from the list of accepted drugs covered by a patient's health plan, and how pharmacies handle changes in communication with practices about accepted drugs.

To learn more about the study:
- read this Healthcare IT News piece

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