Pharmacy software vendors embrace e-prescribing

Thirteen pharmacy software vendors embrace an e-prescribing system.

Thirteen US pharmacy software vendors have voiced support for electronic prescribing efforts, each committing to a formal campaign to educate pharmacists on the benefits of e-prescribing, an operator of an electronic network announced this week.

The pharmacy software vendors will help their customers connect to the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange, a nationwide e-prescribing network that links doctors and pharmacists, said SureScripts, the company that operates the network.

Among the software vendors that have signed on are Best Computer Systems, CarePoint, Computer-Rx, Data Doc, Health Business Systems, and Rx30 Pharmacy Management System, SureScripts said in a news release.

E-Prescribing can improve patient compliance and safety as well as increase the time spent with patients, Stuart Trooskin, CEO of Data Doc, said in a statement.

SureScripts also announced the results of a study showing an increase in prescriptions being filled after doctors began e-prescribing. The company's research found an 11 percent increase after doctors began using e-prescribing services. The 19-month study, conducted by SureScripts and Walgreens, looked at more than 1 million prescriptions and tracked 100 doctors using e-prescribing tools.

More research is needed to tell how electronic prescribing causes more prescriptions to be received by pharmacies and picked up by patients, SureScripts said. But the study does suggest that e-prescribing can cut down on prescription "leakage" -- those that never make it to the pharmacy to be filled.

Getting more prescriptions into the hands of patients "is a benefit to us all," Bruce Roberts, executive vice president and CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association, said in a statement. While e-prescribing has long been viewed as a way of cutting down on prescription errors, the study suggests other benefits, he added.

More than 95 percent of US pharmacies have computer systems that have been certified for a connection to the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange and more than two-thirds are live on the network, according to SureScripts.

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