End in sight for handwritten prescriptions?

In New York a definitive end is in sight.

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Starting on March 27, 2016, New York will require physicians to electronically create prescriptions, as opposed to being able to hand-write their scripts.

New York is the first state to require electronic prescriptions and back it with civil and criminal penalties.

There are also penalties such as fines and imprisonment for physicians that fail to comply. Minnesota requires electronic prescriptions, however there are no penalties in place for doctors who give handwritten prescriptions.

The New York switch is part of a larger initiative called I-Stop. I-Stop was created to fight against the prescription opioid abuse epidemic. Under I-Stop, an online registry was created so ensure doctors can spot a history of abuse.

The electronic prescriptions are the next step in I-Stop, as they are expected to reduce fraud and mistakes.

There are problems stemming from a lack of flexibility. Patients need to know where they want to pick up their prescriptions ahead of time. There are also issues when the selected pharmacy does not have the medication and when the medication is too expensive.

Doctors have started to prescribe common medications and doses to avoid having to reissue prescriptions for medications that are not in stock.

What are your thoughts on the shift to electronic prescriptions? Let us know by commenting below!

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