An electronic prescription mandate in Minnesota resulted in the state having the highest rate of e-prescribing in 2011, after being ranked 11th the year before.

Minnesota prescribers electronically routed 61 percent of prescriptions last year, according to the annual Safe-Rx report from e-prescription network vendor Surescripts. The state legislature enacted the mandate in 2008 and it became effective Jan. 1, 2011. The mandate is soft; it does not apply to long-term care facilities, and there are no enforcement mechanisms or penalties for non-compliance. But the state worked with stakeholders for several years to raise awareness and readiness for the mandate.

Following Minnesota, the top 10 e-prescribing states are Massachusetts, South Dakota, Delaware, New Hampshire, Iowa, North Carolina, Maine, Vermont and Michigan. “Ranking aside, e-prescribing use grew substantially across all states in the U.S. in 2011,” according to the report.

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.

More information on Minnesota’s mandate is available here. The state-level e-prescribing Safe-Rx report is here. Also available on the site is the 2011 National Progress Report issued in May.

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