According to the most recent report from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), the number of prescriptions sent electronically exceeded 1 billion in 2013. 70% of physicians now use electronic prescribing through their EHR.

The report studied the total volume of e-prescriptions dating from when the e-prescribing incentive program, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA), was passed.  The ONC found a ten-fold increase in providers’ e-prescribing rates during the allotted timeframe of December 2008 to April 2014.

Minnesota experienced the most drastic change in e-prescription rates. In 2008, only 4% of Minnesota physicians used e-prescribing, as opposed to 100% in 2014. As of April, Indiana had a 95% e-prescribing rate, with Massachusetts close behind at 94%.

The ONC report credits MIPPA for the dramatic increase in e-prescribing.  Before the MIPPA was passed, the e-prescribing rate for the United States was at a disappointing 7%.  After the incentive program was approved, the number of pharmacies that accepted e-prescriptions also increased from 76% in 2008 to 96% in 2014.

As technology becomes ever more prevalent in the healthcare industry, e-prescribing will continue to expand worldwide. According to a June report from Transparency Market Research, the global market is projected to grow from $250.2 million to $887.8 million by 2019.

Author: Lauren Daniels