Home » Survey on e-prescription: Every second doctor confirms a good start – pharmacists see a need for improvement

Survey on e-prescription: Every second doctor confirms a good start – pharmacists see a need for improvement

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Survey on e-prescription: Every second doctor confirms a good start – pharmacists see a need for improvement

Hamburg – 24. April 2024

Three months after the mandatory introduction of e-prescriptions, almost half of the practicing doctors and dentists consider the start to be a success – despite all the initial fears and protests. “46.2 percent of doctors say that it all boils down to little things,” says Christoph Dippe, CEO of the Health Foundation. “However, just as many people criticize the increased effort involved.” A good third of the doctors report technical problems, and a fifth report problems with redemption at the pharmacy. However, there are hardly any acceptance problems among patients. The results come from the most recent ad hoc survey “In Focus,” in which more than 1,000 practicing physicians and pharmacists took part.

Doctors most often issue the e-prescription digitally; the printout with a QR code is rarely used.

Pharmacists complain about incorrect issuing in practices

From the pharmacists’ point of view, things aren’t going quite so well: at 80.6 percent, the majority of them complain about problems with issuing documents from doctors’ practices. More than 70 percent also report greater effort and technical problems.

“These are initial problems that shouldn’t have existed,” says Tina Haase, editor-in-chief at Wort & Bild Verlag, in her guest commentary on the results. “The system failures at Gematik, the federal agency for digital infrastructure, are annoying and must be resolved urgently. And defective software in doctors’ practices needs to be replaced.” Nevertheless, it was right to finally start with e-prescriptions after more than 20 years: “The various players in the healthcare system debated and argued far too much instead of working on a mature solution for everyone “The e-prescription must now be optimized and expanded to other useful areas: “Then it is an important building block for a digital health system.”

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Tina Haase, editor-in-chief at Wort & Bild Verlag, commented on the results of the survey.

Doctors want to expand e-prescriptions, pharmacists want paper prescriptions back

While more than half of doctors are already in favor of expanding e-prescriptions and would like to use them in other areas, around 40 percent of pharmacists would prefer to return to paper prescriptions. “That’s understandable, because the problems naturally add up for them since they form the end of the chain,” says Dippe. “We will see if this attitude changes once the underlying problems are resolved.”

About the ad hoc survey series “In Focus”

Since the beginning of 2022, the Health Foundation has been surveying service providers in outpatient care once a quarter – medical and/or non-medical depending on the topic – about a current focus topic. 1,049 doctors and pharmacists took part in the survey in the first quarter of 2024.

About the Health Foundation

Knowledge is the best medicine – inspired by this idea, the non-profit and independent Health Foundation has been committed to transparency and orientation in the healthcare system nationwide for over 25 years. The heart of their work is the structural directory of care. On this basis, she has created numerous IT solutions and tools to provide patients with targeted information. You can find out more about the foundation’s work in the video from Christoph Dippe, CEO of the Health Foundation.

Image credits: Image 1: Canva; Figure 2: Datawrapper; Image 3: Word & Image Verlag/Julia Bradley

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