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Wall Street Journal Addresses Electronic Prescribing

Armen Hareyan's picture

Electronic Prescribing

A Nov. 16 opinion piece about electronic prescribing written by Sen.John Kerry (D-Mass.) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Pa.) is,"in large part, on the mark," but "their premise that change is in thehands of prescribers who require some sort of financial incentive isundercut by the fact that, by law, a significant percentage ofprescription orders -- controlled substances -- may not be transmittedelectronically," Karl Williams, an associate professor of pharmacyadministration at the Wegmans School of Pharmacy at St. John Fisher College, writes in a Wall Street Journal letter to the editor (Williams, Wall Street Journal,11/21).

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In the opinion piece, Kerry and Gingrich wrote, "E-prescribingfor Medicare is just the beginning of the modernization anddigitization our ailing health care system urgently needs," adding, "Ahigh-tech, healthier future is within our grasp" (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 11/16).

"Eliminatingpoor handwriting will create a safer and more efficient medication useprocess," Williams writes. However, he adds, from the "prescribingpractitioner's perspective, deciding to adopt e-prescribing for only aportion of the prescriptions issued is a half-measure that may actuallyresult in decreased efficiency within a practice environment" (Wall Street Journal, 11/21).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily HealthPolicy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The HenryJ. Kaiser Family Foundation.