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Health Aff (Millwood). 2010 Dec;29(12):2268-77. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2010.0557.

Differences between integrated and stand-alone E-prescribing systems have implications for future use.

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  • 1Mongan Institute for Health Policy, Partners Healthcare, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Understanding the benefits of electronic prescribing systems has important implications for quality and efficiency in medical care. We surveyed physicians about their use of e-prescribing in outpatient practices. We found that physicians who use e-prescribing systems integrated into an electronic health record have different characteristics, usage patterns, perceived benefits, and levels of satisfaction than physicians who use stand-alone systems. For example, although only 56 percent of the physicians we surveyed said that they checked a patient's drug history most or all of the time when writing a prescription, those with integrated systems were significantly more likely to report doing so than their counterparts with stand-alone systems. Our findings have implications for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's requirements for e-prescribing and the future use of this technology. Because many stand-alone systems cannot meet meaningful-use requirements, there is likely to be a shift toward integrated systems.

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