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Jeff Sutherland

Twice the Energy with Half the Stress

E-prescribing can save a lot of lives and money

E-prescribing Could Save Billions, But Adoption Lags

April 15, 2004

Electronic prescribing could reduce the nation’s health care costs by $29 billion per year, according to a report issued Wednesday by the eHealth Initiative. However, CMS Administrator Mark McClellan said that while e-prescribing will help make drugs more affordable to seniors under Medicare, technology “has been slowly and sparingly adopted in health care,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

The technology could help save some $27 billion from fewer medication errors and reduced duplication. E-prescribing would also inform physicians about cheaper generic drugs. Researchers found that three million drug errors last year could have been prevented. Another $2 billion in savings would come from fewer hospital and doctor visits as a result of a reduction in prescribing errors, according to the Center for Information Technology Leadership, which contributed to the report (Schaefer Muñoz, Wall Street Journal, 4/15).