NPs, PAs top physicians in emergency department e-prescribing

Nonphysicians are e-prescribing the most at Children's National Health System's emergency department, according to a poster presented at the American Medical Informatics Association annual symposium in San Francisco.

Physician assistants use e-prescribing about 46 percent of the time, and nurse practitioners do so about 38 percent of the time. That's compared to physicians, who are using the tool 31 percent of the time, according to an article about the event from MedCity News.  

The reason PAs and NPs are e-prescribing more might be due to a workflow change. With paper scripts, it wasn't necessary for a provider to ask the patient where the prescriptions should be sent to, but that information is needed for e-prescriptions, Mordechai Raskas, M.D., a fellow in pediatric emergency medicine at the hospital, said at the event.

In addition, NPs and PAs often spend more time with ED patients, he said.

Electronic prescribing has been growing steadily, FierceEMR previously reported. However, not all physicians have adopted electronic health records, while others have cited inexperience with e-prescribing controlled substances and EHR vendors that are not yet certified to enable such prescribing.

In addition, while New York earlier this year was set to require mandatory use of electronic prescribing, in March, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation delaying that for a year.

But patients seem to be pleased with having their prescriptions ordered electronically, especially among older adults. In a January survey, respondents said they tended to prefer e-prescriptions, saying they save time, reduce the number of trips to the doctor and pharmacy, and reduce the risk that paper prescriptions will be lost or destroyed.

To learn more:
- here's the MedCity article