The Surescripts Blog

The Road to Perfecting E-Prescriptions

By Mike Lessard, Product Innovation, Surescripts

E-prescribing is only as good as the quality of the data that goes in. So while the "pipes" of our network are unmatched by any other in the country, it’s what’s inside those pipes that matters.

Poor e-prescribing quality can cause inefficiencies and errors that negatively impact patients, prescribers and pharmacists alike. From forcing pharmacists to manually follow up with prescribers via wasteful back-and-forth faxes and phone calls, to increased patient wait times, prescription abandonment, potential fraud and abuse, and risks to patient safety—the stakes are high.

The 2016 Surescripts National Progress Report highlights some of the progress we’ve made by rallying the industry—pharmacies, pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs), electronic health records (EHR) vendors, drug compendia and others—to improve e-prescription accuracy. Our goal is to increase e-prescribing accuracy by 22% by broadening the adoption and use of CancelRx and RxChange, and accelerating the use of Structured and Codified Signature language. We’ll measure the network’s collective progress against this goal by looking at several metrics like clear prescriber intent, patient directions and standard drug descriptions.

As Peter Basch, MD, MACP, Senior Director, IT Quality and Safety, Research, and National Health IT Policy at MedStar Health, describes, “Problems can occur when there is no clear communication to the pharmacist. Cancel it, get rid of it, do not allow that empty bottle to unintentionally create a medication error either by duplication or substitution. So, I think there’s tremendous utility [in using CancelRx and RxChange].”

As Neil Simon, Chief Operating Officer of Aprima Medical Software points out, structured prescription data can help “reduce errors, reduce contradictions in scripts and make sure the pharmacist can fill it right the first time. It also allows us to analyze data on what’s actually being sent by the prescribers.”

We’ve made significant progress, but there’s still more work to do. Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss future updates as we work toward our ultimate goal of zero e-prescribing errors. Take a look at the videos below for more information about the benefits of e-prescribing.


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