Interoperability in Healthcare Expanded to Record Levels During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Surescripts 2021 National Progress Report Shows Measurable Impact of Technology on Healthcare Costs, Quality and Safety

ARLINGTON, Va. – March 15, 2022 – As COVID-19 reshaped American healthcare, interoperability showed real progress with care providers using shared health intelligence more than ever to make care better, safer and more cost-effective, according to the Surescripts 2021 National Progress Report. The report shows how the Surescripts network helped inform billions of healthcare decisions—making prescriptions more affordable, boosting medication adherence, simplifying the specialty medication experience, and fortifying care management processes.

“This year’s National Progress Report demonstrates nationwide momentum toward interoperable, digital health intelligence sharing,” explained Tom Skelton, Chief Executive Officer of Surescripts. “By leveraging the Surescripts network, healthcare professionals of all kinds are getting clinical intelligence at the right time, in the right place, so that they have the trusted insights they need to serve patients.”

Notable findings in the Surescripts 2021 National Progress Report include:

  • Interoperability across healthcare is gaining momentum. In 2021, 1.89 million healthcare professionals exchanged 20.4 billion secure transactions, a 16.6% increase from 2020. Use of Surescripts Medication History by providers in population health programs increased 53%, and use of medication history for patient intake, hospital admission and care coordination increased 21%. Use of Clinical Direct Messaging increased 81%, with 143 million clinical direct messages sent and received last year. Surescripts Record Locator & Exchange was utilized by more than 197,000 clinicians to exchange clinical history, an increase of 44% over 2020.

  • Technology is supporting pharmacies’ central role in today’s care landscape. Pharmacies used Clinical Direct Messaging to send 16 million COVID-19 vaccination notifications to primary care providers. Pharmacy enablement for CancelRx increased to more than 88% and enablement for RxChange, to reduce back and forth between pharmacists and prescribers, increased to more than 73%.

  • Clinicians are solving for medication affordability and adherence up front. More than 570,000 prescribers used Surescripts Real-Time Prescription Benefit to access medication pricing information 422 million times, saving patients $36.69 per prescription on average, and $264 per specialty prescription on average.

  • Shared intelligence is simplifying specialty medication workflows. The number of prescribers enabled for Specialty Patient Enrollment increased 38%. Specialty pharmacists used Specialty Medications Gateway three times more than in 2020. In 2021, there were 120 new specialty medications supported by Specialty Patient Enrollment, bringing the total to 282, and the number of unique disease states covered increased from 9 to 23 to reduce time to therapy. One specialty pharmacy that implemented Surescripts Specialty Medications solutions improved average time to fill by two days and dispense rate by 14%—while eliminating nearly half of the calls they’d been making to prescribers for missing clinical data.

  • E-prescribing is improving safety and efficiency for even more prescriptions. Use of E-Prescribing increased from 84% to 94% of all prescriptions, and from 58% to 73% of controlled substance prescriptions. Surescripts saw a 10% networkwide improvement in its Quality Index Score, which measures factors that could impact the prescribing process like increase patient safety, reduce time spent in fax and phone call follow-up.

Explore the Surescripts 2021 National Progress Report to learn more about how the Surescripts Network Alliance® is advancing healthcare. Join us virtually or in person at HIMSS on Wednesday, March 16, at 7:00 AM ET for a panel discussion about the progress we’re making measuring healthcare interoperability in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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About Surescripts

Our purpose is to serve the nation through simpler, trusted health intelligence sharing, in order to increase patient safety, lower costs and improve the quality of care. At Surescripts, we align healthcare organizations across the nation and give healthcare professionals the trusted insights they need to serve patients. We convene the Surescripts Network Alliance® to enhance prescribing, better inform care decisions and advance healthcare as a whole. Visit us at surescripts.com and follow us at twitter.com/surescripts.

Media Contact
Nora Langan
Surescripts
(215) 565-5790
nora.langan@surescripts.com

March 15, 2022 • 5 min read