InformationWeek, May 9, 2011

While office-based medical practices are increasingly turning to electronic prescribing, two important shortcomings with e-prescribing technology are holding back wider adoption and preventing physicians from achieving many of the touted safety and cost-saving benefits, a new survey suggests. In many cases, it's difficult to import prescription data, including medication history and insurance information, into patient records, and the data available aren't always useful enough for physicians to take time to review during typical office visits, according to the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC), a Washington-based healthcare research organization. In a research brief released Thursday, HSC said that just one-sixth of practices interviewed regularly reviewed patient medication history from a third party--usually insurance or pharmacy records--when writing electronic prescriptions.

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