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Electronic prescribing has had an immeasurable impact on healthcare. We used to jot prescriptions down on paper. Now, as of 2022, 6.4 million e-prescriptions are sent across the Surescripts network every day. But what happens when these prescriptions can’t be processed or delivered?

Message Queue Service is a Surescripts E-Prescribing feature that showcases our commitment to our customers and to patient safety.

Why did we build this feature?

In the world of pharmacy—as in any other industry that relies on technology—systems can go offline. When outages happen, it can gunk up the processing and delivery of prescriptions, like an engine that needs oil.

Though rare, the tiniest stoppages can have a cumulative, outsized impact. And with millions of prescriptions in progress on any given day, the problem can cascade quickly. It can take much longer to get medication to patients. Some patients abandon their medications altogether.

No Need for a Redo, No Need for Rework

“Well,” prescribers might say. “I guess we’ll just have to resend the prescription. There’s nothing we can do about it.”

That may be true. Or at least it was in the past. When a prescription can’t be processed or delivered, there may be no record of it in the pharmacy system, as though the prescriber never sent a prescription in the first place. And here’s the patient, waiting at the pharmacy counter for a prescription that doesn’t seem to exist.

But in our view, once the prescriber sends the prescription, nothing should get in the way of the pharmacy’s ability to fill it.

Message Queue Service Lubricates the Engine for Smooth Performance

True to its name, Message Queue Service preserves and queues e-prescriptions that get jammed up in planned and unplanned pharmacy system outages.

Prescribers don’t need to resend prescriptions. Patients don’t need to go home empty-handed. And pharmacists don’t need to do anything for this to happen: Message Queue Service automatically springs into action when our network traffic indicates a problem with processing and delivery.

Many of the nation’s largest retail pharmacy chains—18 of them—depend on Message Queue Service, a feature that serves as just one example of how we proactively safeguard the Surescripts Network Alliance and the millions of prescriptions that cross our network every day.

Go deeper: Learn more about our commitment to network integrity.

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