The volume of new and renewal prescriptions sent electronically has increased 13-fold from 2008 through 2013, according to statistics released by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.
The analysis uses data from Surescripts, an e-prescription network used by the majority of all community pharmacies in the U.S. routing prescriptions, excluding closed systems.
Minnesota (89 percent), Wisconsin (83 percent) and Massachusetts (77 percent) had the highest rate of new and renewal prescriptions sent electronically in 2013, and 57 percent of new and renewal prescriptions were sent electronically in 2013.
The report also revealed the growth in e-prescribing has not been limited to physicians. In the same period, the percent of community pharmacies enabled to accept e-prescriptions grew from 76 percent to 96 percent.
The study found nearly all community pharmacies are enabled to accept e-prescriptions in Delaware (99 percent) and Maine (99 percent).
The growth of physicians and pharmacies e-prescribing has corresponded with a 13-fold increase in the growth of new and renewal prescriptions sent electronically.
The four states with highest volume of prescriptions, California, Texas, New York and Florida, are all below the national average, suggesting there is an opportunity to increase the proportion of new and renewals sent electronically among these states.
Wyoming experienced the largest increase in community pharmacies enabled to accept e-prescriptions from 2008-2014 (39 percentage points), while the nation’s smallest state, Rhode Island, remained relatively stable with almost all pharmacies enabled to accept e-prescriptions during the study period.
In April 2014, state rates of physicians e-prescribing through an electronic health record (EHR) ranged from 48 percent to 100 percent.
Minnesota (100 percent), Iowa (95 percent) and Massachusetts (94 percent) had the highest rate of physicians e-prescribing through an EHR in April 2014.
The report also found from December 2008 to April 2014, 48 states increased the percent of physicians e-prescribing through an EHR by at least 50 percentage points.
By April 2014, all states had physicians e-prescribing using an EHR at a rate above 40 percent and 28 states had at least 70 percent of their physicians e-prescribing using an EHR, according to the report.
In April, the organization released a draft report that includes a proposed strategy and recommendations for a health IT framework, which promotes product innovation while maintaining appropriate patient protections and avoiding regulatory duplication.
The congressionally mandated report was developed in consultation with health IT experts and consumer representatives and proposes to clarify oversight of health IT products based on a product’s function and the potential risk to patients who use it.