Wogen S et al. 2003 "Improving the efficiency of the prescription process and promoting plan adherence."

Wogen S, Fulop G, Heller J. Improving the efficiency of the prescription process and promoting plan adherence. Drug Benefit Trends 2003;15(9):35-40.
"Growing prescription volumes and complex pharmacy benefit designs have contributed to inefficiencies in delivery of the pharmacy benefit. Point-of-care (POC) prescribing systems are hypothesized to reduce these inefficiencies while improving formulary adherence through electronic communication of patient benefit information to prescribers before the prescription is written. We tested this hypothesis at a 14-physician medical practice. Implementation of an electronic prescribing system incorporating formulary messaging led to a 42% reduction in number of pharmacy calls to the physicians' office. Formulary-related calls decreased 84% while compliance with the plan formulary was maintained, and prescription clarification calls (e.g., because of illegibility) fell 30%. Mail-service pharmacy utilization increased at twice the rate of that in a control group, helped by the inclusion of passive reminders of a home delivery benefit transmitted electronically at the point of care. POC technology facilitates management of the pharmacy benefit by providing prescriber access to patient-specific clinical and benefit information during the patient encounter. Efficiency gains for patients, physicians, and pharmacists can be realized while also improving benefit plan adherence."

To "describe the impact of introducing an automated electronic prescription process in large primary care practice and the benefits realized by plan administrators, members, and physicians."

Tools Used
Type Clinic
Primary care
Small and/or medium
Type of Health IT
Electronic prescribing (e-Rx)
Type of Health IT Functions
"Practice desktop computers were preloaded with patient eligibility information and an electronic prescribing system that incorporated drug benefit design information, including formulary messaging and passive reminders of home delivery availability for patients. A module that automated inbound renewals from the pharmacy was also included."
Workflow-Related Findings
E-prescribing led to an overall reduction of 42 percent of incoming pharmacy calls. The rate of calls related to formularies and generic medications declined 84 percent, and the rate of clarification calls related to illegibility declined 30 percent. Because of an automated renewal system, the rate of renewal calls declined 42 percent. The use of home delivery of prescriptions increased 10 percent.
The majority of patients surveyed agreed that the e-prescribing implementation "improved the quality of care, helped the pharmacists and physicians work better together, reduced the potential for error, and helped identify drug interactions."
"Physicians and office staff were satisfied with the technology."
Study Design
Pre-postintervention (no control group)
Study Participants
The 14 physicians in the practice and their patients receiving prescriptions during the study period participated.