Digital Waste? Unintended Consequences of Health Information Technology
Petri Böckerman (),
Liisa T. Laine,
Mikko Nurminen () and
No 117, Working Papers from VATT Institute for Economic Research
We exploit a large-scale natural experiment - the rollout of a nationwide electronic prescribing system in Finland - to study how digitization of prescriptions affects pharmaceutical use and health outcomes. We use comprehensive administrative data from patients treated with benzodiazepines, which are globally popular, effective but addictive psychotropic medications. We find no impact on benzodiazepine use on average, but among younger patients e-prescribing increases repeat prescription use. Younger patients' health outcomes do not improve but adverse outcomes, such as prescription drug abuse disorders and suicide attempts, increase dramatically. Improving access to medication through easier ordering may thus increase medication overuse.
Keywords: health information technology; electronic prescribing; repeat prescriptions; inefficiency; medication overuse; Local public finance and provision of public services; H51; H75; I12; I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea, nep-ict and nep-pay
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Working Paper: Digital Waste? Unintended Consequences of Health Information Technology (2019)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:fer:wpaper:117
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in Working Papers from VATT Institute for Economic Research Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Anita Niskanen ().