European e-Prescriptions: Benefits and Success Factors

Working Paper No.5 (June 2016)

Electronic prescriptions (e-prescriptions) are an important component of digital health systems for the future, promising increased efficiency, better patient safety through error reduction, and increased patient convenience. The topic is high on the agendas of national and EU policymakers, particularly as it forms part of the vision for a single digital market and cross-border healthcare in Europe. This paper examines the economic, health, and social benefits of e-prescriptions, as well as their realisation within different time frames of policy implementation. Based on previous evidence and expert interviews for case studies of Estonia, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Sweden, this work analyses to what extent existing models of e-prescription implementation can determine implications for their wider utilisation across Europe. Overall, the paper seeks to enhance understanding of the societal value of e-prescriptions and supports their further diffusion in Europe through recommendations for practice and policymaking.


Ulrike Deetjen is a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.


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