A study of 24 physician practices using electronic prescribing technology shows accessing information on formularies and medication histories can be cumbersome or unreliable.

Physicians at most of the practices had access to formulary data, but only about half could access medication histories, according to the Center for Studying Health System Change in Washington. But many physicians don't routinely uses these information sources when making prescribing decisions.

The study cites two major barriers to use of supporting information when e-prescribing: hard-to-use tools to view and import data into patient records, and data often not seen as useful enough to spend the extra time accessing.

Overall, physicians with greater access to complete and accurate data and with easier-to-use e-prescribing systems will take more advantage of e-prescribing features, according to the study, available here.

--Joseph Goedert


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