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The last six months have been incredibly challenging for the healthcare industry as it continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. Providers are continually inspiring me by demonstrating their resilience, adaptability and devotion to delivering care in the face of significant disruptions in healthcare and society at large. Our new report shows that these efforts collectively resulted in a number of milestones in the use and adoption of interoperable healthcare technology.

Clinicians, payers and technology vendors from across the Surescripts Network Alliance®  are increasingly adopting new technology and innovating to streamline processes, share information and improve patient care. These milestones are driving advancements across healthcare in four key ways:

  1. Delivering care in new ways
    As patients' healthcare locations changed or went virtual, prescribing medication electronically became even more critical. In August, and for the first time ever, the Surescripts Network Alliance surpassed 1 million prescribers who sent e-prescriptions securely to pharmacies—an increase of 25,000 prescribers since December 2019.

  2. Finding the most affordable prescription
    Prescription costs became even more of a concern, especially for the more than 30 million Americans who claimed unemployement benefits in July. That same month, 300,000 prescribers used Real-Time Prescription Benefit to access prescription costs, coverage details and therapeutic alternatives—a 19% increase since December 2019.

  3. Treating complex and chronic conditions without delay
    Patients with chronic and complex conditions were able to get their specialty medications faster thanks to several new tools that streamline the specialty prescribing process. In August, Surescripts introduced two new services that support specialty pharmacies with access to clinical information and electronic prior authorization.

  4. Reporting COVID-19 cases to public health agencies
    Manually reporting COVID-19 diagnoses is a burdensome and slow process. In an effort to streamline and speed-up the process, health systems leveraged Clinical Direct Messaging for electronic case reporting to inform public health agencies of COVID-19 diagnoses nationwide. Between February and July, Surescripts processed more than one million electronic case reports for COVID-19 using Clinical Direct Messaging.

The upcoming months will continue to challenge the healthcare industry, but I also know the Surescripts Network Alliance will persist in implementing, innovating and securely delivering care at remarkable speed. I look forward to seeing what the future holds as we move into the next chapter in the digital transformation of healthcare.

View the report, Health IT Adoption & Innovation During COVID-19: 2020 Milestones, to learn more.