AMA Introduces Online ePrescribing Learning Center

June 11, 2009
Laurie Martin

Because “the prescribing process is complex, and automating the process is equally complex,” the AMA has designed an online electronic prescribing (ePrescribing) learning center to encourage physicians and to simplify the confusion posed by ePrescribing.1 The center offers a range of services to bring physicians up to speed and in compliance with the recently passed Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008.

Because “the prescribing process is complex, and automating the process is equally complex,” the AMA has designed an online electronic prescribing (ePrescribing) learning center to encourage physicians and to simplify the confusion posed by ePrescribing.1 The center offers a range of services to bring physicians up to speed and in compliance with the recently passed Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008.

Only about 13% of physicians used ePrescribing at the end of 2008, says Dr Joseph M. Heyman, AMA Board Chair. AMA research has shown that physicians who use ePrescribing are “significantly more satisfied with their prescribing process than physicians who continue to handwrite prescriptions.”2

Launched on April 1, the center functions as a centralized training source to help physicians make timely decisions on ePrescribing systems. Included is information on vendor pricing and features, timesaving tools to estimate Medicare ePrescribing incentives, the latest state and federal Health Information Technology programs, and clinical decision support as it relates to ePrescribing, as well as assistance in implementing and using ePrescribing systems in physician practices.

Designed to “take the guess work out of the decision-making process by giving physicians all the tools they need to decide what system is best for their practice,” says Heyman, the center is a “one-stop shop for the ePrescribing information and resources.”3 Registration is not required, and the primary goal is to provide information to physicians so they can determine whether their practice is ready to ePrescribe and to help them with the process.

The center can be used to answer fundamental questions and to provide key references and resources for clinicians, consumers, health plans, and pharmacies. Basic resources are available to all users, but some of the tools are available only to AMA members. There is no cost to physicians. Information is available at http://www.ama-assn.org/go/eprescribing.

References:

Reference

1. Best Practices and Lessons Learned Related to Electronic Prescribing: A Guide for Health Plans, Employers and Statewide Initiatives. December 2008. http://www.ehealthinitiative.org/assets/Documents/BestPracticesFinal010909.pdf. Accessed April 16, 2009.
2. A Clinician’s Guide to Electronic Prescribing. October 2008. http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upload/mm/472/electronic-e-prescribing.pdf. Accessed April 16, 2009.
3. American Medical Association. ePrescribing Learning Center. http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/erx/home.shtml. Accessed April 16, 2009.