A bid to encourage doctors and patients in the US to adopt electronic prescribing, technology has been launched by two companies, it has been reported.
The two firms, SureScripts and RxHub, believe that wider use of the technology will result in lower costs and fewer medical errors. They have been lobbying doctors for years to switch from hand-written prescriptions to electronic ones which can be automatically sent to pharmacies, but currently only 2% of the 1.5 billion prescriptions made out each year are submitted electronically.
SureScripts and RxHub are proposing a merger which will connect doctors, pharmacies and those who pay for patients’ treatment, such as insurance companies.
“As we move to this paperless process, we improve efficiency, safety and quality,” Rick Ratliff, SureScripts chief executive, told the Washington Post. Mr Ratliff will share the top job in the new company, to be called SureScripts-RxHub, with RxHub boss J P Little.
The American Medical Association has raised concerns about requiring doctors to make electronic prescriptions. It has questioned how high-tech services will be funded given that public health insurance does not cover the cost of basic healthcare.
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