Electronic prescriptions were associated with less primary nonadherence for dermatologic medication when compared with paper prescriptions, according to study results published in JAMA Dermatology.
Researchers conducted a retrospective review of medical records between 2011 and 2013 of 2,496 new patients (mean age, 47.7 years; 66% women) prescribed dermatologic medications at the outpatient dermatology clinic at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.
There were 4,318 prescriptions, including 67.8% printed prescriptions. There was an overall rate of primary nonadherence of 31.6%. Patients who were given an electronic prescription had a 16% lower risk for primary nonadherence (15.2%) compared with those given a paper prescription (31.5%).
As age increased, primary nonadherence decreased (< 30 years, 38.9%; 30-49 years, 35.3%; and 50-69 years, 26.3%); however, there was an increase in primary nonadherence in patients aged 70 years and older (31.9%).
Number of prescriptions affected primary nonadherence rate, with patients who were given one, two, three, four or five prescriptions having rates of primary nonadherence of 33.1%, 28.8%, 26.4%, 39.8% and 38.1%, respectively.
Patients who spoke English as their primary language had a higher rates of primary nonadherence (25.7%) when compared with patients who spoke Spanish (24%) or other language (18.5%). Hispanic patients had the highest full adherence rate (70.3%) among any of the racial or ethnic groups.
“Electronic prescribing has become one of the major criteria to evaluate meaningful use of electronic health records by health care professionals,” the researchers conclude. “In this study, we demonstrated that e-prescribing is associated with reduced rates of primary nonadherence. As the health care system transitions from paper prescriptions to directly routed e-prescriptions, it will be important to understand how that experience affects patients, particularly their likelihood of filling the prescriptions.” – by Bruce Thiel
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.