Larry King’s early career took place at a retail pharmacy in Brooklyn, so he knows firsthand the many challenges pharmacists must contend with, from the social determinants of health to the ripple effect of prescription inaccuracy. He wants healthcare workers, including his fellow pharmacists who are fighting on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, to know that he’s working behind the scenes to ease their way in these challenging times.
Q. What is your role, and how does it help keep the Surescripts network running?
A. As a pharmacist on our Product Innovation team, I have the privilege of working across our network to continually improve e-prescribing accuracy through our Critical Performance Improvement program. This effort was essential before the pandemic, but the current state of the nation makes it all the more important. Our work matters because it lessens the burden on already taxed providers, improves pharmacist and prescriber workflows and most importantly, has a direct impact on overall healthcare safety for patients.
Q. Can you tell us more about the impact on patients?
A. We consider this to be the most important part of our work. By improving overall data quality for E-Prescribing, our goal is to ensure that patients receive the medications as intended by the prescriber, reduce the time to treatment and ultimately achieve better health outcomes. With this as the primary “endpoint,” we are impacting both pharmacies and prescribers through increased prescription automation, reduced phone calls and faxes and creating a better, safer experience for everyone involved.
Q. What keeps you going? What inspires you to stay #dedicated in tough times?
A. For me, there are two key motivating factors. The first is that I truly believe in the value of our work. A patient safety issue or poor data quality can have a nationwide impact and divert critical resources away from the most important thing: patient care. As the Surescripts Network Alliance solves each of these issues, I know we are improving patient care in a big way. The second factor is that I know my family and friends depend on our healthcare system. Any compromise in the quality of that system jeopardizes virtually every American patient, including those who are close to me.
Q. What do you want people to know about the work that Surescripts does behind the scenes?
A. I want people to know that we share the same objective as doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other clinicians: better patient outcomes. This theme is as true for our Critical Performance Improvement program as it is for our solutions. For me, this is really apparent when you think of the impact we have on price transparency, medication history and nationwide interoperability.
Q. What is your message to frontline healthcare workers?
A. Thank you! I started my career as a frontline community pharmacist in a high-volume retail setting. In the best of times, this work can be incredibly stressful. Given the pandemic, I can only imagine the pressure you’re under. You put yourselves at risk every day to make sure that our patients are getting the critical care they need. Know that you are not just appreciated—you have support and resources behind the scenes. We’re doing everything we can to improve your experience, and our goal is to seamlessly provide tools and resources that make your very difficult jobs a bit easier.
To learn more about how the Surescripts team is keeping the nation’s most trusted and capable health information network humming, check back soon for more in our #Dedicated series.