Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Progress Report on e-Prescribing - Surescripts SafeRx Awards

Surescripts has unveiled the top 10 e-prescribing states

Surescripts announced on July 31, 2012 that Minnesota achieved the highest rate of e-prescribing use in the nation during 2011 to capture the number 1 ranking in its 7th annual Safe-Rx Awards. One thing that likely helped is former Republican Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty signed into law in 2008 legislation that required electronic prescriptions and created quality reporting rules for physicians. Pharmacists, physicians and others who prescribe or dispense medication in the state were required to use electronic systems by 2011.

The rankings are determined by an analysis of data, which did not include any  protected health information (PHI), that measures electronic prescribing use by physicians, pharmacies and payers in each state. Behind Minnesota, nine states have more than 70 percent of physicians e-prescribing, with Massachusetts and New Hampshire leading with an 86 percent physician adoption rate. Ninety-one percent of retail pharmacies now support e-prescribing, according to Surescripts. “Ranking aside, e-prescribing use grew substantially across all states in the U.S. in 2011,” according to the report. Adoption and use statistics for all states and an online discussion of the Safe-Rx rankings are available at www.surescripts.com/saferx.

Growth in the adoption and use of e-prescribing – which includes prescription routing, utilization of benefit information and utilization of medication history – created the most changes in the rankings over its seven year history. This e-prescribing growth correlates with trends first identified in Surescripts 2011 National Progress Report released May 17, 2012. The data indicates that state and federal initiatives to increase the adoption and use of e-prescribing by healthcare providers as a means to improve quality, efficiency and help lower costs are significant drivers in e-prescribing’s growth.

Highlights from the 7th Annual Safe-Rx Awards and state progress reports:

  • Prescribers in Minnesota routed 61 percent of prescriptions electronically.
  • Massachusetts and New Hampshire have the highest rate of physician adoption at 86 percent.
  • Nine states have over 70 percent of physicians electronically routing prescriptions.
  • North Dakota made the largest gains year over year, boosting its ranking from #47 to #18.
  • New Hampshire, Nebraska and Minnesota all made double digit gains in the ranking based on increased use of e-prescribing which includes: routing, medication history and benefit information.
  • Nationally, 91 percent of retail pharmacies are able to receive e-prescriptions.

Top 10 States with Highest Rates of E-Prescribing

  1. Minnesota*
  2. Massachusetts
  3. South Dakota
  4. Delaware
  5. New Hampshire*
  6. Iowa
  7. North Carolina
  8. Maine
  9. Vermont*
  10. Michigan
*New to the top 10

Accepting the Safe-Rx Award for MN as the top e-prescribing state in the nation in 2011 is Dr. Marty LaVenture, Director of Health Informatics at the Minnesota Department of Health and director of the statewide Minnesota e-Health Initiative. Dr. LaVenture is this year’s recipient of the prestigious Safe-Rx Evangelist Award, which is given annually to the person or organization whose work has made an extraordinary impact on the awareness and use of e-prescribing as a critical means of reducing medication errors.

Prescribers in Minnesota routed 61 percent of prescriptions electronically last year. The state jumped from 11th place to the lead spot between 2010 and 2011, overtaking Massachusetts, which had held the top ranking for five years. "In Minnesota, there has been a strong commitment to a common e-prescribing objective by providers, pharmacies and payers statewide who worked collaboratively with the e-Health Initiative,” said Dr. Marty LaVenture, director of office of health information technology and e-health at the Minnesota Department of Health. “We have benefited from the strategic use of assessment data that helped us identify and respond to the gaps and needs associated with e-prescribing. Policy initiatives and grant and loan programs also helped to increase adoption and use for providers and pharmacies in underserved areas of the state."

The Safe-Rx Awards celebrate leadership and exceptional commitment to advancing health care safety, efficiency and quality through the use of e-prescribing. They reflect Surescripts' long-standing collaboration with the nation's pharmacies, payers, physicians and technology vendors to support the exchange of health information over a network that is non commercial, neutral, transparent and standards-based. The Awards are based on a ranking that measures states' actual use of e-prescribing.

What About My State?
Ranking aside, e-prescribing use grew substantially across all states in the U.S. in 2011. To view reports detailing the growth of e-prescribing adoption and use in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., go to www.surescripts.com/saferx.