October 2017

Rising to the Challenge of Turning Data into Actionable Patient Intelligence

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October 2017

CancelRx and the Medication Management Puzzle: A Pharmacist’s Perspective

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August 2017

Federal Government Responds to Opioid Epidemic

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MOST RECENT

September 2017

Better Actionable Intelligence Means Better Healthcare for All

Surescripts released its 2016 National Progress Report today, revealing substantial network growth, expanded provider connectivity and increased technology adoption - all good signs of progress toward the healthcare industry reaching its "holy grail" of increased quality and patient safety at a lower cost. Here are highlights from this year's report. Read more...

September 2017

Carequality: Improving patient care coordination by advancing interoperability

In an industry that is increasingly value-based and quality-focused, care providers must have the right patient information in real time to make the best decisions possible. It is critical that patient data is accessible to everyone who is a part of a patient's care journey and has a say in how care is delivered. Read more...

September 2017

When It Comes to E-Prescribing, Everyone Wins

We had a chance to chat with Health Usability Expert Linda Stotsky about the benefits of e-prescribing, and she couldn't say enough great things about it. From improving patient safety and medication adherence to saving healthcare professionals time and money, e-prescribing technology is where it's at. Read more...

August 2017

NACDS Total Store Expo: Pharmacies are increasingly playing a critical role in driving interoperability in healthcare

The healthcare ecosystem is rapidly and continuously evolving, and as pharmacists take a larger role in managing the day-to-day care of patients, pharmacists need to stay on top of the latest developments in health IT, including the newest regulations and legislation. Read more...

August 2017

Building on Direct: Improving interoperability and patient data exchange

From evolving standards and regulations, to the need for higher quality and more patient-centric care, many factors are fueling the adoption of technology that drives interoperability. Read more...

July 2017

St. Louis-based Health System Embraces Technology to Strengthen Care Coordination

A lack of care coordination costs the United States an estimated $148-$226 billion annually, but these numbers can change for the better. Health systems like SSM Health in St. Louis are implementing new technologies that will dramatically improve care coordination, leading to increased safety, lower costs and higher quality care. Read more...

July 2017

The Road to Perfecting E-Prescriptions

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. Read more...

July 2017

Why Pharmacist-Physician Collaborations Are Key to Quality Care: A Q&A with Shelly Spiro

Surescripts 2016 National Progress Report showed that more health data is being exchanged today than ever before, making quality and accuracy even more critical. One important element of data quality is industry collaboration, particularly between pharmacists and physicians. Read more...

June 2017

2016 National Progress Report Points to New Tools to Combat Opioid Abuse

Claiming the lives of 91 Americans each day, America's opioid epidemic is a national public health crisis.[i] State governments are increasingly taking action through a combination of public policy, technology adoption and education initiatives, as evidenced by the surge of mandates across the country. Surescripts 2016 National Progress Report shows that while e-prescribing is one of the most powerful tools available to fight prescription painkiller fraud and abuse, there are many factors at play. Read more...

June 2017

New York Leading the Charge to Prevent Opioid Prescription Fraud and Abuse

If you follow the news, you're aware of the fact that opioid addiction is an American public health crisis that's reached epidemic proportions. In fact, it was recently estimated that drug overdose killed more than 59,000 people last year - the largest annual increase ever, with a significant portion by opioids, which include prescription pain relievers oxycodone, fentanyl and others. Read more...

June 2017

Maine Next in Line to Battle Opioid Abuse with EPCS

Opioid abuse is growing by epidemic proportions and no state is immune to its tragic effects - including Maine. In 2016, overdose deaths in the state increased 40% over the previous year.* The good news: Maine is gearing up to fight the epidemic with Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS). Read more...

May 2017

Healthcare is No Longer Local: Explore the Cost of Disparate Health Data

The key driver of better care coordination is patient data that is easily accessible and shareable. However, data silos among disparate systems have made true nationwide interoperability - and the potential for better care - a challenge. Read more...

April 2017

Industry Collaboration Is the Key to Improving Patient Safety

With more than one billion e-prescriptions flowing through our network every year, we must ensure the data is comprehensive, accurate and usable. When clinicians and pharmacists receive reliable information at critical points of care--we call it actionable patient intelligence--they can make better informed decisions. This leads to lower costs, higher quality and increased safety--the "holy grail" of healthcare. Read more...

April 2017

Surescripts Sentinel™ Takes E-Prescribing to a Whole New Level

With the shift toward value-based care and the fact that three-fourths of the nation's prescriptions are now electronic, data accuracy is more important than ever. And given that 1.5 billion electronic prescriptions cross the Surescripts network each year, we must ensure the information is correct and workflows are efficient so patient care and safety can be optimized. Read more...

April 2017

States Push to Combat Opioid Abuse With E-prescribing Technology

Opioid medications are prescribed to alleviate pain and suffering, but their abuse and misuse is killing more than 33,000 Americans every year. Prescription painkiller abuse is a problem of epidemic proportions and a significant national public health challenge. The good news is, it's one that states are increasingly taking action against with an important weapon: health information technology. Read more...

April 2017

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

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. Read more...

March 2017

One Doctor’s Rallying Cry: We Need to Adopt E-prescribing to Combat Opioid Abuse

How does one of the industry's leading surgeons and medical educators want to fight the opioid epidemic? With e-prescribing. Specifically, the electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS). Dr. Atul Gawande, general and endocrine surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA, and professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School believes EPCS is crucial to reducing opioid abuse. Read more...

March 2017

Improving Patient Safety with the Click of a Button

Medical errors are a leading cause of poor patient outcomes in the United States, including patient dissatisfaction, hospital readmissions, medical malpractice claims and even death. Many of these problems can be avoided if physicians have access to their patients' comprehensive medication lists at the point of care, enabling more accurate medication reconciliation. Unfortunately, accurate lists can be difficult to compile and maintain when a patient sees multiple doctors and has medications filled by various pharmacies. Read more...

March 2017

Surescripts National Record Locator Service Helps Fight Opioid Abuse

If you've followed the news lately, it's no surprise that the opioid epidemic is a serious problem in America today. At this year's HIMSS conference, Surescripts demonstrated how our National Record Locator Service (NRLS) is helping fight it. More than 7,000 conference-goers had the opportunity to see NRLS in action at the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase as Surescripts demonstrated the service's ability to identify patients exhibiting potential drug seeking behaviors. Read more...

March 2017

Using Actionable Intelligence to Improve Patient Safety

In celebration of Patient Safety Awareness Week, below are highlights from our HIMSS17 panel discussion "Improving Patient Safety with Actionable Intelligence." Patient safety affects all parts of the health care system. Research suggests that 440,000 patients die each year as a result of preventable medical harm, and many others suffer lasting health consequences. Read more...

February 2017

HIMSS17: Using Actionable Intelligence to Improve Patient Safety

Patient safety is the foundation of effective healthcare, but information gaps ranging from inaccessible medical records to incomplete medication histories continue to plague the industry. These inconsistencies are inefficient, frustrate already burdened providers and negatively impact patients. According to The Atlantic, the U.S. spends $750 billion per year on unnecessary and inefficient healthcare services. Read more...

February 2017

Electronic Prior Authorization Delivers the “Holy Grail” of Healthcare: Increased Patient Safety, Lower Costs and Higher Quality

When patients visit a doctor's office or pharmacy, they want convenience. Consumers expect care to be delivered with ease and efficiency, so they can follow their providers' recommendations with confidence. But when physicians don't know if their patients' medications will be covered by insurance or patients are forced to wait to fill prescriptions only to find out they can't afford them, the process breaks down for everyone. Read more...

February 2017

HIMSS17: Combating the Opioid Epidemic

Our nation has been crippled by the devastating opioid addiction epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control, opioid drug overdoses played a role in 33,091 deaths in the United States in 2015, and that number is expected to continue to rise. Read more...

February 2017

Linda Stotsky: A Lack of Electronic Data Exchange Capabilities Makes Caregiving “Dizzying”

The transition from having healthy parents to becoming a caregiver for ailing parents is a challenging experience many adults face. Add to it the difficulty of managing and exchanging data between providers, along with barriers to filling prescriptions, and it quickly becomes a "dizzying" task. Read more...

January 2017

21st Century Cures Act: What Providers and Electronic Health Record Vendors Need to Know

With significant bipartisan support, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act, and it became law on December 13, 2016. The act allocates nearly $5 billion to the National Institute of Health (NIH) to advance the President's Precision Medicine Initiative and support Vice President Biden's "cancer moonshot" In addition, several of the Act's provisions directly impact digital health. Read more...

December 2016

Why Isn’t the Healthcare Consumer Experience as Easy as Online Banking?

If you're like most Americans, you've probably asked yourself, "Why doesn't my doctor have my health records?" or, "Why do I have to fill out the same forms at the doctor's office every time?" or "Why isn't my prescription ready at the pharmacy?" Read more...

October 2016

Cross-Industry Collaboration Aims to Improve Data Quality

Although Surescripts has always worked closely with our network participants to maintain the integrity and accuracy of the information on our network, we still recognize the need to continually work towards even higher e-prescribing quality. Today, e-prescribing is virtually the norm, with more than 1.5 billion e-prescriptions annually - or 3,000 a minute - flowing through our network. Read more...

October 2016

Interoperability in Action: ONC Visits St. Louis

This week I had the pleasure of going to St. Louis, Missouri with Carequality and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) to visit healthcare clinics and a long-term care nursing facility to see real-world health data sharing. National Coordinator, Dr. Vindell Washington spent the day touring multiple sites using Carequality Interoperability Framework. Read more...

October 2016

A Better Partner for Community Pharmacists

With over 70 percent of all prescriptions processed electronically, e-prescribing is proof that interoperability is happening. But with many prescriptions still requiring manual intervention, there is still work to be done to improve accuracy and efficiency across the network. Read more...

October 2016

The Rise of Electronic Prescribing for Controlled Substances: How Does Your State Rank?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released new clinical guidelines to improve the process for prescribing controlled substances. However, there is another important step providers can take to combat the nation's opioid epidemic: digitizing the process with Electronic Prescribing for Controlled Substances (EPCS). Read more...

September 2016

Live Video Chat: Digital Health Experts on the State of Health IT and the Business of Interoperability

Mark your calendars for Thursday, September 29, 2016, at 2:30 PM ET, as Surescripts convenes some of healthcare technology's most highly regarded thought leaders for a live streaming video chat: The State of Health IT and the Business of Interoperability. Read more...

August 2016

Using Technology to Fight Opioid Fraud & Abuse—A Big Step in the Right Direction

In 2014, more than 28,000 American lives were cut short by opioid overdose. In fact, opioid overdose quadrupled from 2000 to 2014, and is now the nation's number-one cause of preventable death. But these potent prescription drugs - which include painkillers like morphine and oxycodone - can help to effectively manage chronic pain for millions of people when properly prescribed, administered and monitored. Read more...

August 2016

Driving the Digital Shift in Healthcare

In 2015, Surescripts drove a massive digital shift in healthcare, processing 9.7 billion transactions across our nationwide health information network. In fact, each day, we processed an average of 3.8 million electronic prescriptions in the United States, surpassing giants Amazon (3 million packages each day) and Uber (1 million rides each day worldwide). Read more...

August 2016

Monumental Network Growth Means Good Things for Healthcare

Our 2015 National Progress Report is chock full of good news. There's no question that the entire healthcare ecosystem is embracing the potential of a fully digitized healthcare system. Providers and pharmacists are increasingly accessing and exchanging critical patient information where and when they need it most. Read more...

July 2016

Alert: New E-Prescription Quality Guidelines

Six years ago, Surescripts implemented the Clinical Quality Management program to measure, monitor and improve the quality of e-prescriptions flowing through the network. As part of this initiative, we conducted an analysis that revealed the absence of widely recognized guidelines and best practices for e-prescription messaging data quality. Read more...

May 2016

Surescripts at the ONC Annual Meeting: Combatting the Opioid Abuse with Health IT

Prescription opioid abuse in the United States is skyrocketing. In some cases, patients are "doctor shopping' - or visiting multiple doctors to obtain multiple prescriptions - in order to fly under the radar. In others, providers are simply overprescribing these highly-addictive opioids. And in nearly 9 percent of the cases, patients are resorting to forging or stealing paper prescriptions. Read more...

May 2016

When Investing in Interoperability, Health Systems Need Connectivity ROI

At SSM Health, a Catholic not for profit health system in St. Louis, investing in interoperability is a top priority. The organization's focus on improving health information exchange not only helps them deliver better care, but more recently, it also ensures that SSM Health providers have access to the critical information they need, where and when they need it. Read more...

May 2016

Opioid Epidemic Goes Mainstream: Get the Facts on E-Prescribing & EPCS

CNN recently held an hour-long Town Hall discussion on the opioid epidemic, and with New York's recent enactment of its I-STOP legislation and Maine following closely behind, as well as recent high-profile overdose deaths, this is all positioning the opioid epidemic as a mainstream issue facing our country. Read more...

May 2016

Combating Medical Errors with Interoperability

According to the CDC, cancer and heart disease rank among the top killers in the United States. Each was responsible for 600,000 deaths in 2014 alone. Some researchers now contend that in reality, medical errors should rank third on the list, reinforcing why health information exchange and patient data access are literally life threatening issues today. Read more...

May 2016

JAMA Internal Medicine Study Provides Wake-Up Call: Improving e-Prescription Safety and Standards Adoption

With 77 percent of all prescriptions in the U.S. being routed electronically in 2015, e-prescribing is now the industry norm. However, there is still room for improvement when it comes to e-prescription quality and the user experience. One area for continuing quality improvement is the Notes field, as described in a recent Surescripts-led study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine last month. Read more...

April 2016

Will Collaboration Bring Healthcare Interoperability to Life? HIMSS’16 Panelists Weigh-In

What happens when renowned Beth Israel CIO and Harvard professor John Halamka explores what it will take to achieve real healthcare interoperability with a panel of fellow health IT leaders? An engaging, standing-room only discussion at HIMSS'16 in Las Vegas last month. Read more...

March 2016

I-STOP Legislation Takes Effect in New York, Spurs Provider eRx and EPCS Adoption

Electronic prescribing is a first line defense for combating rampant prescription fraud and abuse in the nation today. And in New York, both prescribers and pharmacies have embraced its capabilities in order to make a difference in the fight against opioid abuse while ensuring patient safety and privacy, care quality, and process efficiency remain at the forefront. Read more...

March 2016

Studies Highlight Threats and Opportunities of E-Prescribing Drug Codification

While standards have helped move health information exchange and interoperability forward, selected challenges remain. Two recently released studies in the Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy and Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association examine deficiencies in e-prescribing drug name identifiers and recommend strategies for improving the quality of care. Read more...

February 2016

Surescripts Continues to Advance and Support Health Care Interoperability

As noted by National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo, M.D., private sector partnerships and mutual accountability are two of the main drivers for us as a Nation to achieve true interoperability across the country. At Surescripts, we applaud ONC for keeping the focus where it counts through the development of the Interoperability Roadmap and by obtaining the pledges of community commitment and support. Read more...

February 2016

HIMSS16: What is the Ideal State of Interoperability?

At its core, what is the ideal state of interoperability? How far are we from achieving that utopia, and where must we focus in the near future to achieve progress and move interoperability forward? In advance of HIMSS16, we posed similar questions to a few of our industry partners and featured speakers at our HIMSS panel on advancing interoperability. Read more...

February 2016

Locate Patient Records, Improve Quality: First Adopters Discuss the National Record Locator Service at HIMSS16

Ensuring providers have access to patient information in real-time is one of the most important ways that health IT can improve quality. When providers don't have this information - coupled with the shift towards value-based care - patients aren't the only ones who stand to suffer. Read more...

February 2016

Building on Existing Collaboration for True Interoperability

Connectivity, interoperability and seamless information exchange are necessities in today's data-driven environment. And though there are many different approaches and initiatives underway, we are still waiting to see quality drastically improved and disparate networks truly connected. Read more...

February 2016

On the Road to Interoperability, Industry Collaboration Drivers Wanted

As exemplified already by these first few weeks of 2016, health IT leaders certainly have a lot on their plates this year. Regulations and standards are changing, value trumps volume, the market is evolving, and the patient is moving to the center. Read more...

February 2016

New York Takes the Lead in EPCS

Today, Surescripts released new data about its Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS) solution, and how it's helping New York tackle prescription drug abuse. Read more...

October 2015

ONC’s Interoperability Roadmap: Keeping the Focus Where It Counts

October 7th was a hallmark day for health IT - with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services publishing its Meaningful Use stage 3 final rule and Certification final rule, as well as the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology releasing the final version of its Interoperability Roadmap. Read more...

October 2015

10 Years of Interoperability in Action: A Historical Look at E-Prescribing

As National Health IT week kicks off its 10th anniversary, it's worth reflecting on our achievements over the past 10 years and highlight one of the most successful examples of interoperability: electronic prescribing. Read more...

August 2015

With EPCS Legal Nationwide, There is Still Work to Do

Similar to the critical yet complex path to industry interoperability, the electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) still has a ways to go before reaching its full potential. However, today Vermont becomes the final state to legalize EPCS for all schedules of controlled drugs. Read more...

July 2015

FHIR: A SMART Solution for Interoperability?

As we continue on the interoperability journey, the healthcare industry is constantly exploring new standards and opportunities for achieving industry-wide information exchange. Read more...

March 2015

The Time for EPCS is Here!

Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances enables a significantly better experience for both patients and providers when compared to the analog methods of the past. Read more...

January 2015

Overcoming e-Prescribing Quality Issues

While e-prescribing does speed up the time it takes information to reach the pharmacy and eliminates the need to protect against coffee spills or physical damage, we are always looking for ways to improve the process. Read more...

November 2014

Achieving Interoperability in Rural Communities

Read our conversation with Inofile's President and Chief Technology Officer, Therasa Bell, discussing the healthcare challenges and opportunities in rural communities. Read more...

July 2014

Improving Formulary Compliance through E-Prescribing

In previous posts, I've blogged about the value of medication history during transitions of care, and offered perspective on how medication history can save hospitals time and money, all while improving clinical quality. Read more...

May 2014

Setting the Standard for E-Prescribing Quality

As I mentioned in a previous blog post post, we developed the Quality Management Framework to measure safety, accuracy and completeness of e-prescription transactions. Read more...

March 2014

Challenges and Opportunities of Interoperability

A recent study from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) indicates that a lack of care coordination "can lead to inappropriate or duplicative tests and procedures that increase health care spending". Read more...

April 2013

Denied New To Follow Workflow

In the workflow for electronic prescription routing, there are two core message flows. The first deals with the routing of an entirely new prescription, called "NewRx" in the NCPDP standard. Read more...

September 2010

Drug Databases

All e-prescribing systems use a drug database at their core. Several commercial alternatives exist, as well as some low cost or free data sources. Read more...

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