• Print

Step 5: Achieve Meaningful Use Stage 1

e-Prescribing (eRx)


Generate and transmit permissible prescriptions electronically (eRx).


More than 40 percent of all permissible prescriptions written by the eligible professional are transmitted electronically using certified EHR technology.

Changes as of August 2012:

Beginning in 2013, CMS added an additional exclusion to the objective for electronic prescribing for providers who are not within a 10 mile radius of a pharmacy that accepts electronic prescriptions.

New Additional Exclusion: Any EP who: does not have a pharmacy within their organization and there are no pharmacies that accept electronic prescriptions within 10 miles of the EP's practice location at the start of his/her EHR reporting period.

Clinical Importance

Electronic prescribing (e-Prescribing or eRx) is a fast, efficient way to write/re-order and transmit prescriptions. e-Rx has pre-set fields so all the required information for prescriptions are entered and automatically stored in the patient’s record for easy review during follow-up visits or for transitions to other providers. e-Prescribing increases overall patient satisfaction because the prescriptions can be automatically transmitted to a pharmacy of preference. Using an electronic system also provides guided dose algorithms to assist providers. Providers also have the opportunity to query a formulary to ensure the drug selected is covered by the patient’s health plan to assist in reducing costs to the patient.

CMS Resources

The following resources are available to help you meet the e-Prescribing meaningful use core measure:

Related CMS EHR Incentive Program Frequently Asked Questions

Lessons from the Field

 "By directing all electronic prescription refill requests to one central inbox, practices can streamline care coordination, and reduce staff workload."

Jason Felts, Health IT Practice Advisor, Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality 

When implementing an electronic prescribing solution, accepting prescription refill requests in multiple forms (by telephone, fax, etc.) requires an extensive amount of coordination between staff members. Implementers in the field have found it effective to designate one staff member to be responsible for coordinating the transmission of electronic prescription refills. One central repository for all prescription refill requests can reduce the need for extensive synchronization between all staff members.

National Learning Consortium Resources

The NLC resources are examples of tools that are used in the field today, and that are recommended by “boots-on-the-ground” professionals. The NLC, in partnership with HealthIT.gov, shares this collective EHR implementation knowledge and resources throughout this site.

National Learning Consortium Resources
Resource NameDescriptionSource

A Toolset for E-Prescribing Implementation in Physician Offices



Toolset that provides knowledge and resources to implement e-prescribing. Includes tools to support planning and decision-making, such as surveys to determine whether an organization is ready for e-prescribing, worksheets for planning the implementation and monitoring progress, and templates for communicating the launch to patients.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

The material in these guides and tools represents the collective EHR implementation experiences and knowledge gained directly from the field of ONC’s outreach programs (REC, Beacon, State HIE) and through the Health Information Technology Research Center (HITRC) Communities of Practice (CoPs) in their performance of technical support and EHR implementation assistance to primary care providers. The information contained in these resources is not intended to serve as legal advice nor should it substitute for legal counsel. The resource list is not exhaustive, and readers are encouraged to seek additional detailed technical guidance to supplement the information contained herein.

Reference in this web site to any specific resources, tools, products, process, service, manufacturer, or company does not constitute its endorsement or recommendation by the U.S. Government or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Related CMS EHR Incentive Program Frequently Asked Questions

For additional questions around meaningful use, visit the CMS EHR Incentive Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).


Next Core Objective >