Implementing an E-Prescribing System in Outpatient Mental Health Programs

  • Aileen B. Rothbard
  • Elizabeth Noll
  • Eri Kuno
  • Cynthia Zubritsky
  • Matthew O. Hurford
  • Cordula Holzer
  • Trevor Hadley
Research - Practice Relationships


This study describes the implementation and evaluation of an electronic prescription ordering system and feedback report in three community-based mental health outpatient agencies and the usefulness of the system in improving psychiatrists’ prescribing behavior. Using the e-prescribing system as a data collection tool, feedback on evidence based prescribing practices for patients diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum disorder or major affective disorder was provided to agency directors and prescribers via a monthly report. The results of the project were that e-prescribing tools can be installed at a reasonable cost with a short start up period. Although the feedback intervention did not show a significant reduction in questionable prescribing patterns, we should continue to investigate how to best use HIT to improve safety, reduce costs, and enhance the quality of healthcare. A better understanding of what prescribers find useful and the reasons why they are prescribing non-evidenced based medications is needed if interventions of this type are to be effective. Given the availability of administrative claims data and electronic prescribing technology, considerable potential exists to provide useful information for monitoring and clinical decision making in public mental health systems.


E-prescribing Public mental health Evidence based prescribing Clinical decision support Feedback systems 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aileen B. Rothbard
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Elizabeth Noll
    • 1
  • Eri Kuno
    • 4
  • Cynthia Zubritsky
    • 1
    • 3
  • Matthew O. Hurford
    • 1
    • 5
  • Cordula Holzer
    • 6
  • Trevor Hadley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research, Medical CenterUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.School of Social Policy and PracticeUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Leonard Davis Institute of Health EconomicsUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.University of IndianaBloomingtonUSA
  5. 5.Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability ServicesPhiladelphiaUSA
  6. 6.Wilmington VA Medical CenterElsmereUSA

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