Doctors Say Two Barriers Discourage E-Prescribing

Even when they have access to information about drugs prescribed by other doctors, patient formularies and other external patient information, many physicians don't use it to make prescribing decisions, according to a May 5 study from the Center for Studying Health System Change. Respondents cited two main barriers: tools to view and import data into patient records were too cumbersome for some systems, and physicians do not always consider the data useful enough to spend extra time accessing and reviewing them, particularly during time-pressed patient visits. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality funded the study.—Visit

Kaiser Permanente Finds Environmental Benefits in EHRs

Electronic health records can "dramatically" reduce greenhouse gas emissions and waste, according to an analysis in the May issue of Health Affairs. Kaiser Permanente found that within its own system, the comprehensive use of the EHR saved 1,044 tons of paper annually; eliminated up to 99,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions by replacing face-to-face visits and associated travel with virtual visits, and by filling prescriptions online; and reduced the use of toxic chemicals by digitizing and archiving X-rays and other scans.—Visit

Web Tool Gives Providers Evidence-Based Info on CAM

An online tool unveiled in April gives health care providers easy access to evidence-based information about various complementary and alternative-medicine practices so they are better able to discuss the safety and effectiveness with patients. The resource is produced by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health.—Visit

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