Reluctant prescribers are the biggest barrier to e-prescribing adoption

After the DEA officially lifted the restrictions against the use of electronic prescribing for controlled substances in June, it eliminated the single greatest barrier to e-prescribing in a decade.

The next obstacle may be the prescribers themselves, according to a survey of healthcare IT professionals conducted by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. Nearly three in 10 (29 percent) of those surveyed said the biggest barrier to implementing e-prescribing technology in healthcare organizations is prescribers' unwillingness to integrate the e-prescribing technology into their work processes. One-quarter of those surveyed said the cost of the technology is an obstacle.

Nearly all those surveyed say that clinicians should be allowed to e-prescribe controlled substances.

Almost half (45 percent) of 483 respondents said they thought improved workflow would be the biggest benefit of allowing clinicians to prescribe controlled substances using e-prescribing technology. Another third said better patient safety would be an advantage.

A little over half (55 percent) of those surveyed said that the March 2010 interim final rule that addresses e-prescribing for controlled substances will lead to a slight increase in the use of e-prescribing. Another third believe that it will lead to a significant uptick in e-prescriptions.

Forty percent of respondents said that their organizations are using e-prescribing technology.

To learn more:
- see the HIMSS survey
- read this statement from the American Pharmacists Association

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