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Minnesota had the highest rate of e-prescribing use in the nation during 2011, in large part because the state passed an e-prescribing mandate, which helped to propel the state’s adoption and use of electronic prescribing, according to Surescripts.
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.
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, the e-prescribing network provider said in a July 31 announcement.
Former Republican Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed into law in 2008 a bill 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.
According to the Surescripts data, Massachusetts and New Hampshire have the highest rate of physician adoption of e-prescribing at 86 percent.
Surescripts calculates its rankings for the annual Safe-Rx Awards by an analysis of data that measures electronic prescribing use by physicians, pharmacies and payers in each state.
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Growth in the adoption and use of e-prescribing includes prescription routing, utilization of benefit information and utilization of medication history.
“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 the Minnesota Department of Health’s office of health IT and e-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,” he added. Policy initiatives and grant and loan programs also helped to increase adoption and use for providers and pharmacies in underserved areas of the state.
Surescripts also found that nine states have over 70 percent of physicians electronically routing prescriptions. North Dakota made the largest gains year over year, while New Hampshire, Nebraska and Minnesota each made double-digit gains.
Nationally, 91 percent of retail pharmacies are able to receive e-prescriptions.
The top 10 states with the highest rates of e-prescribing are:
3. South Dakota
5. New Hampshire*
7. North Carolina
*New to the top 10, according to Surescripts.