Pharmacists in Texas and Louisiana Can Access the Free Service at www.surescripts.com/harvey
In the wake of the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey, Surescripts and Allscripts (NASDAQ:MDRX) are collaborating to provide free access to patient-specific medication history data for pharmacists in Texas and Louisiana for a limited time. Pharmacists interested in utilizing the service should visit www.surescripts.com/harvey for instructions on how to become authorized to access the Allscripts application through which they can then obtain patient consent to see a 12-month view of a patient’s medication history. Prescribers who do not already utilize medication history data through their electronic health record (EHR) software can also download the free, cloud-based application to gain access.
In response to Hurricane Harvey, the federal government declared public health emergencies in Texas and Louisiana, granting Medicare beneficiaries and their health care providers increased flexibility in meeting emergency health needs and loosening some provisions of the HIPAA Privacy Rule. Further, the Texas Pharmacy Act (Sec. 562.054) and board rule 291.34 allow a pharmacist to dispense up to a 30-day supply of a prescription drug, other than a Schedule II controlled substance, without the authorization of the prescribing practitioner.
“We take our role as the nation’s most trusted and capable health information network very seriously, and we are proud to work with Allscripts to support pharmacists in Texas and Louisiana as they respond to patients in need,” said Tom Skelton, Chief Executive Officer of Surescripts. “Most physicians already have access to medication history data via their EHR software. However, during a natural disaster this information is critical for pharmacists who may need to deliver medications outside of normal practice patterns. In some situations, it is a matter of life or death for critically ill patients who have been displaced and may have lost their medications or can’t recall their medication list.”
“As a trusted global leader in health care IT, we feel it is our obligation to take action to enable providers to deliver the necessary care to their patients in times of great crisis,” said Allscripts Chief Executive Officer Paul Black. “Meeting the numerous challenges of an emergency declaration requires innovative collaboration, and Allscripts is proud to partner with Surescripts to ensure care providers and their patients in the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey have the information they need, when they need it.”
Thousands of residents throughout the region have been displaced from their homes due to the massive flooding, with an estimated 10,000 people living in shelters in Houston, including nursing home and hospital patients. Many pharmacies, hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices have been closed, prescribing patterns have been disrupted, and many patients will need to reconnect with their care regimens, likely in new settings. In fact, Surescripts data showed a 93 percent decrease in the volume of prescriptions delivered in the days immediately following the storm.
The nationwide Surescripts network connects more than one million healthcare professionals and 230 million patients and provides prescribers access to complete and up-to-date medication history data. This information helps limit errors and adverse drug events. In 2016 alone, providers submitted more than 1.08 billion requests for patient medication history data through the Surescripts network. The information provided is sourced by community pharmacies, payers, and pharmacy benefits managers, in accordance with all laws protecting the privacy and security of patient health information.
Allscripts technology platform connects 45,000 physician offices and 185,000 clinicians, building an open, connected community of health through solutions that enable smarter care, delivered with greater precision, for healthier patients and populations. Allscripts ePrescribe offers a private and secure comprehensive electronic prescribing workflow largely considered the industry’s easiest-to-use e-prescribing solution. The cloud-based Allscripts ePrescribe Special Edition will enable pharmacists and physicians to pull medication history for the patients affected by Hurricane Harvey.
This initiative builds on similar efforts in response to previous storms. In 2005, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Surescripts participated in a public-private initiative to build an emergency prescription database to provide pharmacies and clinicians access to patients’ prescription histories and allergies online. Allscripts contributed to Katrina relief efforts as well by making the ePrescribe solution available to clinicians caring for patients affected by the disaster. The organizations are also watching Hurricane Irma and considering response options should the situation deteriorate and require similar support.
Deploying this program quickly enough to make a difference has required incredible cross-market collaboration. Surescripts and Allscripts would like to thank the many organizations who quickly stepped in and helped make it possible to bring this program to Texas and Louisiana in this time of need. To see a list of the many organizations involved, please see www.surescripts.com/harvey where additional information and resources are also available to assist healthcare professionals in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.