On March 27th, New York State passed a new provision which requires physicians to prescribe almost everything electronically. In 2012 legislation known as the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act, or I-STOP, was passed to combat abuse of controlled substances such as opiates.
While I-STOP’s initial goal was to help put a stop to opioid abuse, the new e-prescribing mandate is wider in scope.
By the end of this month, “it will be mandatory for practitioners, excluding veterinarians, to issue electronic prescriptions for controlled and non-controlled substances,” according to the New York State Department of Health.
According to New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, beyond the goal to prevent controlled substance abuse, this larger goal for e-Rx is to improve patient safety generally by eliminating mistakes due to sloppy handwriting, and the chance for missed or inaccurate information, from the prescription process (Source: New York Times).