Electronic prescribing influence on calcium supplementation: a randomized controlled trial

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Mar;202(3):236.e1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2009.10.886. Epub 2009 Dec 30.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine whether an electronic prescription for over-the-counter calcium supplements increases compliance.

Study design: Two hundred forty-five patients from 19-50 years of age who underwent annual gynecologic examinations were assigned randomly to either verbal counseling about the use of a calcium carbonate with vitamin D supplement (n = 122) or verbal counseling and an electronic prescription (n = 123). Telephone interviews at 3 and 6 months determined compliance.

Results: Women who received the electronic prescription were significantly more likely to use calcium supplementation than control subjects at both 3 and 6 months. At 3 months, 66.0% of women who received an electronic prescription reported compliance (P = .001). At 6 months, 57.0% of the participants were compliant (P = .001). At 6 months, women who were given the electronic prescription were 2.2 times more likely to report having taken the calcium than were control subjects (95% confidence interval, 1.5-3.1).

Conclusion: An electronic prescription for over-the-counter calcium supplements is associated with a significant increase in compliance, compared with verbal counseling alone.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Calcium Carbonate / therapeutic use*
  • Electronic Prescribing*
  • Female
  • Florida
  • Humans
  • Medication Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nonprescription Drugs / therapeutic use
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control


  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Nonprescription Drugs
  • Calcium Carbonate