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      Doctors go digital for most prescriptions

      If you have ever been to the doctor, you have probably seen him or her write your prescription. But with the recent advances in technology, using a pen and pad is becoming a thing of the past.

      It is called an electronic or e-prescription, and after a doctor diagnoses a patient, the doctor inserts the information into their password-protected laptop.

      â??What I do is just start typing the name of the medication in the search box, and then I just have to choose the appropriate strength. Then once I choose it, I can modify [the medication to determine] how long the patient is going to take the medication," said Dr. Anas Jaber, Portage Health Pediatrics.

      Once the information is complete, the doctor presses send and it goes directly to a pharmacistâ??s computer. Then the patientâ??s prescription is filled.

      So what are some of the benefits of these digital prescriptions? Patients no longer have to make multiple trips to the pharmacy, and some hospitals have seen error rates drop by 60 percent.

      â??Weâ??re going to be able to get away from paper so we can store things electronically, and if we ever have to look it up, it can come up at a moment's notice,â?? said Director of Portage Health Pharmacy Jason Evans.

      This electronic method also makes it much easier for doctors.

      â??I can send the prescription from anywhere, so even if Iâ??m at home, I can login to my computer and send the prescription,â?? Dr. Jaber said.

      But not every patient has the luxury of an e-prescription.

      â??The software systems and the government are not all on the same page quite yet for controlled substances, so those ones still have to be called in or written on paper,â?? Evans said.

      Last year only 36 percent of all prescriptions were delivered electronically, but that number is steadily increasing.