Objective: Electronic (e) prescribing is computerised prescribing. The Government of Kerala has started the e-health initiative. The objective of this study was to obtain the perceptions of prescribing doctors on e-prescription before its implementation. Method: This was a questionnaire based cross sectional study conducted for a period of six months in a Government tertiary care teaching hospital of Kerala. The prescribing doctors of the institution formed the sample population. The response to the structured questionnaire was measured on Likert scale. Data were analysed using SPSS 16. Domain scores of perceived usefulness, ease of use and fitness to the Institution were calculated by averaging the response. Chi square test was done to find the association of score of each domain with independent variables. Results: Two hundred and fifty seven prescribing doctors of age range 22-60 years participated of which 49% were females and 51% males. Response rate was 73% (257/350). Although 70.5% have heard of e-prescriptions only 14% participants had hands on exposure. The mean perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and fitness were 3.5±0.47, 3.35± 0.49 and 2.95 ± 0.44. Conclusion: Dislike for paper prescriptions was the single most important factor associated with perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and perceived fitness of e-prescription in the institution. Information technology training and infrastructure development should go hand in hand with implementation of e-prescribing.
Key words: Electronic prescribing, Electronic prescription, Medication error, Health Information Technology