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Health Policy. 2009 Mar;89(3):288-94. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2008.07.002. Epub 2008 Aug 19.

Which physicians have access to electronic prescribing and which ones end up using it?

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  • 1Institute for Population Health Policy and Department of Economics and Finance, College of Business Administration, University of Texas-Pan American, Edinburg, TX, United States.



This study examines the availability of electronic prescription and the utilization of e-prescribing by physicians in the US.


Nationally representative data from the 2004-2005 Community Tracking Study Physician Survey were used to identify which subgroups of physicians have access to e-prescribing technology and which subgroups are using this technology more or less intensively. Exhaustive Chi-squared Automatic Interaction Detection (CHAID) was employed for statistical data segmentation.


Results indicate that the rapidly increasing adoption of electronic prescription is diminished by relatively low physician utilization. E-prescription utilization was segmented among practice size and type. There were also differences in e-prescription use by age, gender, and ethnicity/race in some subgroups. Actual use of e-prescription was very low for female physicians in surgical specialties, psychiatry, and obstetrics/gynecology, and for Hispanic physicians in pediatrics, internal medicine, and family/general practice in solo/two physician practices, medical schools, and hospitals.


Insights from segmentation analyses could be used to identify adoption barriers and to develop targeted interventions to accelerate the implementation of e-prescription systems in physician practices.

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