Electronic prescriptions gain ground
New Orleans Times-Picayune, May 27, 2008
With a recent study showing that as many as 7,000 people are killed each year by faulty prescriptions based on illegible handwriting, an increasing number of doctors are trying to avoid problems by using a handheld computer to send prescriptions straight to the pharmacy. Five medical associations are urging their doctors to use e-prescriptions, and in April the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, a national association of drug plan administrators, started a national ad campaign to promote the practice.
The PCMA, which supports legislation that would require e-prescriptions in Medicare, claims it could prevent as many as 1.9 million medication errors and save the federal government billions of dollars over the next decade. Experts predict that by the end of this year, about 85,000 doctors nationwide will be writing e-prescriptions.