Dr Doug Hillblom on the State of e-Prescribing and Remaining Barriers

Rates of e-prescribing access is higher among pharmacists than physicians, which is partly due to older physicians at the end of their career who find implementing the system cost prohibitive, explained Doug Hillblom, PharmD, president at Arena Healthcare, LLC.

Rates of e-prescribing access is higher among pharmacists than physicians, which is partly due to older physicians at the end of their career who find implementing the system cost prohibitive, explained Doug Hillblom, PharmD, President at Arena Healthcare, LLC.

Transcript

What is the current state of e-prescribing in the United States?

E-prescribing in general, approximately 75% of physician practices, 95% of pharmacies are actively engaged for e-prescribing transactions. What we see is that in the physicians it is a little lower and some of it has to do with age of physicians or the size of the practice. But in pharmacies, basically about 95%, very, very few are not accepting those today and even that number will be increasing in the future.

What barriers are preventing further adoption of e-prescribing?

From the physician point of view is cost. Putting in an electronic health record is, for many smaller groups or older physicians who are looking at the end of their career, it’s somewhat cost prohibitive. The new technology and getting used to it and understanding that, they tend to have a little more resistance to it.

From the pharmacy end, there are certain types of practices that feel that e-prescribing doesn’t have any business linked to them. I think about those and go, “hmm.” I know 1 from personal experience that didn’t do electronic prescriptions because there was 1 doctor in town and 1 pharmacy and they were in the same building. So they just didn’t see a business need to do it. But, you know, that’s the unique situation, not the norm.

Physician-wise, I have a lot of friends who are doing e-prescribing and find it to be quite helpful. There are components of e-prescribing that we don’t even talk about. We think about just the initiation of prescription. Things like refills, getting refills into their electronic health records and being able to authorize those is really actually also part of the e-prescribing system or environment.