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Study says E-prescribing systems boost efficiency
Research in the May issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons indicates that electronic prescribing systems might allow greater efficiency at hospitals, which could result in long-term cost savings and improved quality of care.
"Although we found that the implementation of an electronic prescribing system at our institution had no substantial impact on the rate of medication errors, we did see considerable gains in efficiency for the ordering process," said William M. Stone, MD, FACS, of Mayo Clinic Arizona.
Researchers reviewed implementation of an electronic prescribing system in a multispecialty surgical practice. Before the system, the time required for a provider to place an order was 41.2 minutes. With the system, this time decreased to only 27 seconds (p < 0.01). Additionally, personnel were no longer required to clarify and transcribe written orders into an accessible format. Due to the decreased workload, 11 of 56 (19.6%) personnel positions were eliminated, translating to a yearly financial benefit of $445,500. The total capital cost for the implementation project was $2.9 million, with an additional operating cost of $2.3 million.