New York legislature passes mandatory electronic prescribing bill
New York legislators recently approved a bill that will require doctors in the state to issue prescriptions for some drugs electronically within the next three years.
The bill, which Governor Andrew Cuomo promised to sign, was drafted with the goal of more tightly controlling the use of painkillers and other prescription drugs. It will require the state health department to publish regulations by the end of this year regarding regarding a list of prescription drugs, including narcotics, steroids and opioid analgesics.
The electronic prescribing system will allow doctors and pharmacists to easily see problems or troubling trends when writing or filling prescriptions, supporters of the law say. The goal is to make information about patients’ prescriptions available as soon as possible to prevent abuse, the Associated Press reports.
However, some doctors opposed the legislation, arguing that filing prescriptions electronically will be too burdensome and time consuming.
Studies have shown, though, that beyond programs like this to prevent prescription drug abuse, electronic prescribing can have many benefits for healthcare organizations, including increased efficiency and lower risks of errors cause by illegible handwritten scripts.
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