Are you still filling out paper prescriptions at your clinic? Study findings released this month by Surescripts, the nation’s largest e-prescription network (the network used by our VelociDoc EMR), show that you could be seeing higher first-fill adherence rates (i.e. new prescriptions that were picked up by the patient) if you switch to e-prescribing. Surescripts worked with pharmacies and pharmacy benefits managers to analyze de-identified data sets that represented 40 million prescription records. They compared electronic prescriptions with paper, phone, and faxed prescriptions to determine if there is a measurable difference in first-fill adherence rates. What they found was a 10 percent increase in first-fill adherence when physicians used e-prescribing.The graphic below illustrates an overly-simplified snapshot of their findings:

The study attributes this increase to two key factors:
1) Unlike paper prescriptions that don’t always make it to the pharmacy, electronic prescriptions are sent immediately from the doctor’s office to the pharmacy.
2) Patients experience less “sticker shock” because physicians are able to pull up a patient’s insurance information during the visit, so patients are not surprised by the cost of the medication when they arrive at the pharmacy.According to the study, “the World Health Organization estimates that as many as 50 percent of patients do not adhere fully to their medication treatment.” Imagine the healthcare savings the U.S. could experience if we are better able to get our patients to adhere to medication therapy.

If you’re still filling out prescriptions by hand, maybe it’s time to make the switch to e-prescribing.

For more details on the study, click here.

For information on Practice Velocity’s VelociDoc EMR, which is integrated with Surescripts e-prescribing, click here.