Increasingly, physicians are transitioning to e-prescribing, which is viewed as a safer and more convenient alternative to handwritten medication orders. Government incentives programs, such as HITECH, are responsible for transitioning doctors to electronic formats.
According to research conducted by Surescripts, the largest network for paperless prescribing, 2011 figures show that 36 percent of physicians practiced e-prescribing, up from 22 percent the year before. Findings also show that more patients pick up their new medications that are e-prescribed because they often lose, misplace or ignore paper orders.
The carrots-and-sticks program that has been instituted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services rewarded physicians with financial incentives in the first phase of the program, but moves to impose penalties for noncompliance with the e-prescribing mandate.