The Surescripts Blog

Beyond 10.6: Industry Leaders Collaborate to Prepare for the New SCRIPT Standard

By Patricia Krause, Product Manager, Surescripts

When it comes to healthcare technology implementation, transitions can’t be made in a vacuum. As the industry prepares for the new NCPDP SCRIPT standard—with the release date and standard specifics yet to be finalized—we know collaboration is key to ensuring compliance and a smooth transition.

As the primary standards organization for pharmacy-related processes, including e-prescribing, NCPDP’s current SCRIPT standard version 10.6 went into effect in July 2010. While an improvement over version 8.1, which was sunset in 2013, times have changed and there are many aspects of 10.6 that must be improved upon in the next iteration.

Take allergies, for example. Right now, there isn’t an e-prescription field dedicated to housing patients’ allergy information. Patients must rely on their physicians and pharmacists to individually determine if there are any contraindications with their prescribed medications outside of the electronic transmissions. This type of update is just one of many components that must be added to the new SCRIPT standard.

With the timeframe of the next SCRIPT standard yet to be determined, planning and collaboration will be key to ensuring we’re all prepared. As the nation’s leading health information network, Surescripts is in a unique position to bring together all sides of the network—including providers, pharmacists and technology organizations—to solve industry-wide challenges. In February of this year, that’s exactly what we did.

We gathered 50 network stakeholders to discuss the new standard’s challenges, as well as steps that need to be taken to ensure compliance. We also examined some of the obstacles faced during the 10.6 transition and how to better address similar challenges in the future. For example, we explored ways to alleviate challenges related to compliance deadlines and system-build complexity.

The input received at this meeting will be vital to helping shape the new SCRIPT standard implementation framework, ensuring both end users and technology developers can follow the best path forward. We will continue addressing challenges like these as we work together in the months ahead.

The only constant in healthcare technology is change, and the only way to ensure success in an ever-changing environment is to collaborate and be as prepared as possible. Surescripts is committed to guiding the industry through the new SCRIPT standard transition to improve the quality of health information transactions and patient care for all.

Be sure to follow Surescripts and check back on our blog for the latest SCRIPT standard information and updates from the NCPDP.

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