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New Technology Clears the Path for Specialty Pharmacies to Start Patients on Treatment Faster

August 04, 2020

Ask any pharmacist who deals with specialty medications—or any patient who’s ever been given a serious diagnosis that requires one—and they’ll tell you: the process can be painful. The reason is a lack of automation, inefficient communication and coordination among the entities that play a role in getting the medication into the patient’s hands.

Fulfilling specialty medications requires a lot more patient and clinical information than the average prescription. And manually gathering it takes an inordinate amount of time and effort. Imagine having to reach out to multiple sources for everything from clinical to financial information, and then consider how long it would take to do so via phone calls or faxes—all while the newly diagnosed cancer or multiple sclerosis patient waits, worries and wonders when they’ll start treatment.

These often expensive medications also usually require prior authorization, another process that when initiated manually is notoriously error-prone and a major source of delays.

Today, two new network services—Specialty Medications Gateway and Electronic Prior Authorization—have taken off to enable specialty pharmacies to initiate a patient search and gather clinical information required to fulfill a specialty medication and conduct prior authorization as part of their workflow.

Streamlining these processes helps specialty pharmacies serve patients with serious and complex illnesses better and faster, and frees up clinicians to demonstrate their full potential as trusted resources for both their patients and healthcare industry partners.

Read the news release: Surescripts Further Streamlines Specialty Prescribing Process with New Services for Specialty Pharmacies

Specialty Medications Gateway also helps pharmacies facilitate a search when more information is needed for a particular medication without having to reach out to the provider. Along with Electronic Prior Authorization, the solution is complemented by Specialty Patient Enrollment. These technologies converge to give pharmacies the ability to gather clinical information and conduct prior authorizations within their workflow, so they can get patients on therapy faster and spend more time on patient care.

Indeed, as specialized healthcare providers, specialty pharmacists want to spend more time supporting patients and less time pushing paper. According to a recent survey, 69% of specialty pharmacists say that administrative tasks interfere with providing patient care. Forty percent say that the current process is so burdensome that it makes them feel more like an admin than a pharmacist. And on average, 39% of respondents said they have to reach out to clinicians for more information at least five times a day.

Specialty pharmacies can learn more about our Specialty Medications Gateway and Electronic Prior Authorization solutions. And pharmacies can hear about how Surescripts helps deliver critical medications and exceptional care by scheduling a meeting at the 2020 NASP Annual Meeting & Expo Virtual Experience, September 14­­–18, 2020.

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