Prescribers in the ambulatory care segment have increasingly realized their ability to save lives and costs through clinical automation as well as economical and consolidated e-prescribing systems. Backed by both excellent pre-sale and post-sale, services and support, e-prescribing systems currently enjoy unprecedented popularity.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (healthcareIT.frost.com), U.S. e-Prescribing Market among Ambulatory Care Providers, finds that the market earned revenues of $83.6 million in 2007 and estimates this to reach $166.7 million in 2013.
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Market participants can lure more end users by increasing incentives and simple pay-for-performance programs, while government regulations that mandate e-prescriptions could offer an additional thrust. However, the regulatory bodies should first address several issues such as initial and maintenance costs (especially pertinent among small-sized and medium-sized physician practices), training issues, and difficulties in upgrading, before mandating these e-prescribing solutions.
E-prescribing systems have not experienced optimum sales because of the limitations placed on e-prescribing controlled drugs, due to misuse and security concerns. If regulatory bodies draw up the guidelines and criteria that need to be satisfied for enabling the e-prescription of controlled drugs, the situation will improve. Moreover, they can demand additional online checks and authorizations to ensure that the process is tamper-proof.
"There is, however, government and regulatory body mandates by which health plan reimbursement would be increased when claims are submitted electronically," notes Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst S. Priyan. "It is, therefore, almost compulsory for most of the providers in the country to have e-prescribing systems integrated into their practices."
Interoperability issues can challenge market participants if the physician already uses clinical automation solutions, such as practice management from another vendor. To offset this concern, vendors can build a comprehensive product that includes Practice Management Systems (PMS), Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE), and integrated to Electronic Medical Records (EMR) to automate the entire clinical and management workflow of a physician's practice to save workload of staff and licensing costs.
The increasing sales of EMR systems among ambulatory physicians have boosted the total e-prescribing market, since it directly affects the adoption rates of all clinical automation solutions. EMR vendors either provide e-prescribing solution as a part of their clinical automation suite or integrate it with e-prescribing solutions modules from other vendors.
"Employer-sponsored and payer-sponsored e-prescribing systems are being increasingly implemented," notes Priyan. "The prices of various e-prescribing systems have been reduced; in fact, free, downloadable e-prescribing systems are now available for beginners."
System vendors are making the training programs for physicians more effective, while some others are developing easy-to-use, self-explanatory systems for comfortable adoption.
U.S. e-Prescribing Market among Ambulatory Care Providers is part of the Healthcare & Life Sciences IT Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in the following: Penetration rate of stand-alone and integration of e-prescribing solutions among physicians of various sized practices, market sizes of e-prescribing systems based on type of installation and the estimated growth for the market. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.
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U.S. e-Prescribing Market among Ambulatory Care Providers