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$25,000 Prize Offered for Best Solution to Track Communicable Illness through Improved Health Information Exchange

Washington, D.C. - June 4, 2013 - In an effort to improve the tracking of influenza and encourage the progress of women in science and technology fields, Surescripts, the nation's largest health information network, will host a national competition to create a new analytical mechanism to identify and track flu outbreaks in real time.  The initiative, including a $25,000 award, was announced at Healthcare Datapalooza IV in Washington, D.C.

Surescripts' Vice President of Customer and Product Installation Miya Gray announced the Surescripts Technology Challenge, Tracking Influenza in Real Time, on the Datapalooza main stage with Dr. Farzad Mostashari, U.S. National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

"Surescripts is dedicated to improving the current environment in which public health officials rely on data sources that are often days old, incomplete and in inconsistent formats for viewing," explained Gray.  "We are excited to encourage the development of technology to improve public health while recognizing the accomplishments of women in the fields of science and technology."

The competition is open to women and women-led teams.  Men are welcome to be part of these women-led teams.  The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) will serve as an advisor to Surescripts during the competition. The deadline for submissions is July 15, 2013.  Finalists will present their concepts in person in Washington, D.C. on November 13, 2013, with the winner named that same day.

In 2012, Surescripts processed more than 800 million e-prescriptions, or more than one of every two prescriptions in the United States.  The Surescripts Technology Challenge builds on the company's previous experience tracking disease at the state level.  In 2009, Surescripts and the State of Rhode Island launched the nation's first statewide system for tracking disease using secure prescription data.  With 100 percent of pharmacies in the state e-prescribing, the Rhode Island Department of Health leveraged the Surescripts network to review prescription data to see when and where there were increases in prescriptions of TAMIFLU and other antiviral medications for H1N1, also known as swine flu.  All data was de-identified to exclude patient information.

About Surescripts
The Surescripts network supports the most comprehensive ecosystem of healthcare organizations nationwide. Pharmacies, payers, pharmacy benefit managers, physicians, hospitals, health information exchanges and health technology firms rely on Surescripts to more easily and securely share health information. Guided by the principles of neutrality, transparency, physician and patient choice, open standards, collaboration and privacy, Surescripts operates the nation's largest health information network. By providing information for routine, recurring and emergency care, Surescripts is committed to saving lives, improving efficiency and reducing the cost of health care for all. For more information, go to and follow us at

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Media Contact:
Kelly Newton

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