The Surescripts Blog

How Medication History is Creating Value and Improving Care at Health Systems Nationwide

By: Nicole Contardo, Director of Marketing, Surescripts
Cerner

Time consuming. Inaccurate. Costly. Inefficient. These are words providers use to describe the manual medication reconciliation process, which typically involves lengthy conversations with patients about his or her medication history, and hoping that the memorized list is accurate and complete. Providers also fill in the gaps by calling multiple pharmacies. Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, this manual approach leaves providers and patients vulnerable to costly mistakes and potentially life-threatening errors—failures providers simply can’t afford in today’s value-driven healthcare environment.

But with the right tool that delivers real-time access to patient medication history directly to their existing EHR workflow, providers can give safer and more efficient care. In fact, Surescripts Medication History for Reconciliation improves medication history completeness by an average of 30 percent, and can help a 400-bed hospital avoid an average of 10 adverse drug events annually.

Electronic Medication Reconciliation: A Real-World Success Story

Serving a population of more than 2.5 million patients across Texas and New Mexico, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) is familiar with the challenges of manual medication reconciliation. Jack Dyer, M.D., Assistant Professor at Texas Tech Physicians said that, before using a digital workflow integrated with their electronic health record (EHR), “interviewing and reconciliation were very time consuming. Often, the nurse or provider would have to contact the patient’s pharmacy to clarify med history.” Dr. Dyer also recognized the range of costs involved, noting that it “caused delays for providers and nurses downstream when they had to correct errors that occurred at the onset of patient visits.”

Similarly, providers at Advocate Health Care, Illinois’ largest health system, recognize the risks of relying on a patient’s memory for an accurate medication list. Dr. Anupam Goel, Chief Medical Information Officer and Vice President of Clinical Information, notes that “missed medications” contribute to “inaccurate information and data quality,” negatively impacting care and patient safety.

To give their providers a comprehensive, timely view of patient medication history at the point of care, both TTUHSC and Advocate Health Care are adding the power of Surescripts Medication History for Reconciliation to their EHR software, Cerner PowerChart®. This unlocks real-time patient medication data from a nationwide network of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and pharmacies—effectively delivering the most updated information to make better-informed care decisions.

Both health systems are seeing the positive impact of adding Surescripts Medication History for Reconciliation through Cerner PowerChart®. In fact, a handful of TTUHSC and Advocate Health Care physicians reported discovering an average two to three additional medications in a patient’s history that were not originally shared by the patient. These information gaps only validate the critical importance of timely, electronic access to a patient’s full medication history. Read the full case study here.

Learn more about Surescripts Medication History for Reconciliation and use the Surescripts Return on Investment (ROI) Calculator to estimate how many adverse drug events and patient readmissions your organization can avoid.

Read the Full Case Study

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