Electronic-prescribing (e-prescribing) is one part of the larger move to increased utilization of health information technologies (HITs). Along with other HITs such as electronic health records, telehealth, and health information exchanges, e-prescribing is seen as a tool for improving patient-centered care. The potential benefits of e-prescribing are extended to prescribers, payers, pharmacies, and patients. In general, the benefits of e-prescribing fall into the following categories: patient safety, improved prescribing, efficiency/workflow, and cost savings.
Medication adherence is a crucial component in the treatment of chronic diseases. In the elderly, clinicians are faced with a unique set of problems associated with adherence for which they may not be adequately trained. The different factors affecting medication adherence in the elderly are many: patient, medication, health care providers, healthcare system, and socioeconomic factors.
Lack of medication adherence has a significant cost associated with it, as well as causing adverse healthcare outcomes.
A mysterious virus called Zika began to spread rapidly around the globe a few years ago, leading the World Health Organization (WHO) to issue a global emergency. The latest outbreak began in Brazil in May 2015 and has since affected at least 1 million people in more than 30 countries. Experts say the disease has “explosive pandemic potential” and could infect millions of more people, if precautions are not taken.
Opioid medications are prescribed to alleviate pain and suffering, but their abuse and misuse is killing more than 33,000 Americans every year. Prescription painkiller abuse is a problem of epidemic proportions and a significant national public health challenge. The good news is that states are increasingly taking action against this epidemic with an important weapon: health information technology in the form of e-prescribing.
- $55 billion in health and social costs related to prescription opioid abuse each year
- $20 billion in emergency department and inpatient care for opioid poisonings
- On an average day in the U.S. more than 650,000 opioid prescriptions dispensed
- 3,900 people daily initiate nonmedical use of prescription opioids
- 580 people initiate heroin use
- 78 people daily die from an opioid-related overdose
- Of the 20.5 million Americans 12 or older that had a substance use disorder in 2015, 2 million had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers and 591,000 had a substance use disorder involving heroin
- An estimated 23% of individuals who use heroin develop opioid addiction
- Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the US, with 52,404 lethal drug overdoses in 2015.
- Opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with 20,101 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers, and 12,990 overdose deaths related to heroin
- Over 259 million prescriptions were written for opioids, which is more than enough to give every American adult their own bottle of pills
- Four in five new heroin users started out misusing prescription painkillers
- People often share their unused pain relievers, unaware of the dangers of nonmedical opioid use.
- Most adolescents who misuse prescription pain relievers are given them for free by a friend or relative
- The prescribing rates for prescription opioids among adolescents and young adults has nearly doubled
- Women are more likely to have chronic pain, be prescribed prescription pain relievers, be given higher doses, and use them for longer time periods than men
- Women may become dependent on prescription pain relievers more quickly than men
- 48,000 women died of prescription pain reliever overdoses between 1999 and 2010.