Prescribers continue to show preference for paper prescription pads despite e-prescribing advances, study finds

HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, N.J. — Despite all the promises of e-prescribing, in the land of the newfangled, the old-fashioned still reigns supreme, according to a new study.

The study, by point-of-prescription advertising company MediScripts, found that handwritten prescriptions continued to outpace e-prescribing by more than 60% in 2012. The company said the high volume of MediScripts prescription pad use demonstrated continued physician preference for pen and paper, but use of electronic medical record software has shown increased uptake.

"More than 50% of U.S.-based physicians utilize e-prescribing technology, yet data show that among physicians, a majority also are writing prescriptions on a pad," MediScripts CEO Erez Lapsker said. "Prescribers are considering e-prescribing systems, which are rapidly adapting to meet their needs, but until physicians gain comfort with the technology, many will continue to depend on time-trusted, easy-to-use pen and paper."

The company noted that e-prescribing is an important development, but e-prescribing modules are not functionally perfected and don't offer the ability to prescribe all medications. Prescribers, it said, need to prioritize their time, and prescription pads allow them to quickly write a prescription and dosage without having to fuss with complicated computer software.