Surescripts Expands Open Network to Enable U.S. Doctors to Share All Types of Health Information


Leading National E-Prescription Network Accelerates Digital Transformation of Nation's Health Care System

New Services Make it Easier For Physicians, Pharmacies, PBMs, Health Systems, Electronic Health Record Systems and Health Information Exchanges To Send and Receive Clinical Messages

NEW ORLEANS - Oct. 25, 2010 - Surescripts today announced that it will expand its nationwide e-prescribing network to accelerate the digital transformation of the nation's health care system by supporting and enabling the electronic exchange of all types of clinical information.

With this announcement, Surescripts is leveraging the success of its e-prescribing experience and its open, neutral network to enable the nationwide exchange of clinical messages, including up-to-date summaries of patients' recent visits with their health care providers. Moving beyond e- prescribing, Surescripts will build on its established and trusted network by making available to its network participants and electronic health record partners new secure messaging tools through a strategic investment in Kryptiq, a proven technology leader. The move is further supported by two years worth of technology pilot work at Minute Clinic, the pioneer and largest provider of retail medical clinics in the United States. The announcement and new clinical message sharing capability was widely hailed by health care and health IT experts who agree that it will serve to accelerate the efforts of federal, state and industry leaders to improve outcomes and reduce the cost of health care for all.

The Surescripts network is used by the nation's pharmacies, pharmacy benefit managers, payers, by 200,000 e-prescribing physicians and by more than 200 different electronic health record vendors to send electronic prescriptions and share prescription information across all 50 states. E-prescribing has improved patient safety and convenience and significantly reduced the cost of processing a prescription.

"It's a new day for Surescripts and a new day for the nation's health care system," said Harry Totonis, president and CEO of Surescripts. "Today's announcement is consistent with our mission of improving how health care is delivered in our country. And while there is still more work to be done in e-prescribing, we have the expertise and capability to do so much more. We are proud to support the federal government's efforts to encourage doctors to use electronic health record systems to improve quality and safety, and to reduce the cost of care."

By adhering to its existing principles and operating procedures, Surescripts will extend its existing collaboration with electronic health record vendors and all network participants to facilitate the movement of clinical information when and to where it is needed by a patient's health care providers - be they a physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant or pharmacist. The Surescripts network will remain complementary to current EHR, HIE and health system networks by allowing them to connect to a national backbone that, in turn, can connect them with any other network.

"The services will be new, but the approach will not," said Totonis. "Surescripts will adhere to the same set of principles that propelled e-prescribing adoption in the U.S. to 200,000 physicians in less than a decade: privacy, security, neutrality, physician and patient choice, transparency, collaboration and quality. We will continue to work with and enable our EHR partners. These are the principles that brought together more health care organizations for the purpose of electronically sharing information than ever before and these are the principles we will keep. Our network will be open and neutral and we see it as complementary to other healthcare networks and to local exchanges."

New Tools to Access New Services
In addition to using its network to enable the secure electronic exchange of clinical messages, Surescripts will provide tools to electronic health record systems and all network participants to access these new services. The new services are supported by Surescripts' strategic investment in Kryptiq, one of the nation's leading developers of technology that enables providers, their colleagues and patients to securely share clinical information. Kryptiq technology facilitates first- of-its-kind, open collaborative messaging connectivity among more than 40,000 physicians nationwide by connecting electronic health record systems, health information exchanges and health systems located throughout the country. Working with Kryptiq, Surescripts will make a selection of secure messaging tools broadly available to network participants.

All of these services will be fully compatible with the federal government's standards for clinical interoperability and security, including those currently being developed through the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) Direct Project, where the Surescripts exchange will operate as a Health Information Service Provider (HISP).

MinuteClinic Sharing Thousands of Clinical Messages A Month Over the Surescripts Network
Surescripts is already linked with over 500 CVS Caremark MinuteClinic sites across 26 states. Launched in November of 2008, the service has grown to where MinuteClinic nurse practitioners are today using the Surescripts network to share thousands of patient summaries with their patient's physicians each month.

"Patients receive care in different settings and, as a result, their information must be able to follow them wherever they go," said Troy Brennan, M.D. chief medical officer of CVS Caremark. "Each and every time that MinuteClinic shares information via the Surescripts network with a patient's medical home, it improves the continuity of care."

Connecting Pharmacy for More Coordinated Care
By expanding Surescripts' focus to enable the sharing of all types of clinical information, the nation's retail pharmacies and PBMs aim to realize further efficiencies while improving outcomes and reducing the cost of health care for all.

This move is also part of a long-term commitment by Surescripts to enable the pharmacist as a critical component of a patient's coordinated care. There are key trends occurring in healthcare right now with technology being deployed and electronic connections being established to the point of care that promise to redefine patient care. In this environment, Surescripts' role as the nation's network for clinical interoperability supports and enhances pharmacists' ability to connect with physicians, patients and their information for more coordinated care.

Announcement Hailed by Nation's Health IT Experts
By enabling e-prescribing as well as the secure electronic exchange of clinical information, Surescripts offers broad support for the meaningful use of electronic health records. Taken together, these capabilities help improve health care quality and safety while reducing the cost of care. Importantly, Surescripts supports all federal and state policies and standards for health information exchange - including privacy and security standards (such as HIPAA and state law), technology interoperability standards (such as NHIN Exchange) and message types such as HL7, CCR and CCD. In addition, Surescripts is also following the recommendations adopted by the HIT Policy Committee and the standards being developed by the NHIN Direct Project. As such, the announcement was recognized by experts throughout the nation's health care system.

"The Surescripts initiative is consistent with plans of the Department of Veterans Affairs to add implementation of the Nationwide Health Information Network Direct capability, to the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record portfolio," said Roger Baker, assistant secretary for information and technology for the Department of Veterans Affairs. "Our intention is to facilitate secure, standards- based health information exchanges between the VA and the private sector. A large number of Veterans receive some portion of their care from community providers and this initiative will assist us in improving the continuity of care for our Veterans."

"Healthcare information exchange enables clinicians to coordinate care, improving quality, safety, and efficiency," said Dr. John Halamka, chief information officer of Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. "Surescripts is accelerating connectivity by leveraging its existing e-prescribing network to provide novel data exchanges among providers."

"Secure, low cost, easy to use transport of relevant health information is vital to physicians who wish to take advantage of the EHR incentive programs under Medicare or Medicaid," said Dr. David C. Kibbe, senior adviser at the American Academy of Family Physicians. "What this subscription messaging service promises is an affordable pathway for doctors to meet several of the criteria for Meaningful Use without disruption of office workflows and with assurance of reliability equal to that which they already expect with e-prescribing exchanges. It is a natural extension of what Surescripts has established in the field of clinical data exchange with medications, and which offers additional types of data exchange services without "locking in" subscribers to a proprietary network that they can't get out of."

Surescripts: Going Beyond E-Prescriptions
Surescripts' new Clinical Interoperability Services will leverage the nation's largest network of physicians and the secure, private, reliable and scalable Surescripts network. When combined with Kryptiq's best-in-class clinical messaging technology, the new services enable Surescripts to offer several options to electronic health record vendors, health systems, health information exchanges and the physicians they serve. All options are designed to address the specific needs and current capabilities of Surescripts' network participants and be complementary to existing investments in electronic health record systems while offering varied levels of functionality and integration.

  • Extended Network Connectivity - As a network of networks, Surescripts will support and enable the exchange of all types of clinical messages between EHRs, HIEs and health systems that, today, are not connected with each other.
  • Net2Net Connect - Allows health systems and technology vendors that already support clinical information sharing within their network to connect to Surescripts in order to receive and send clinical information outside their network. This new service will be available in December 2010.
  • Message Stream - Secure messaging tools for health systems and technology vendors to enable their physicians to electronically exchange clinical information. This new service will be available in December 2010.
  • Clinical Message Portal - Simple connectivity tools intended for providers that, today, do not have an EHR system to send and receive clinical messages. The new service will be available in January 2011.

Surescripts' e-prescribing services will continue to be offered without charge to physicians. Existing users of Surescripts' e-prescribing services would not be obligated to use the services being announced today. To establish a connection for clinical information sharing over the Surescripts network, users will be able to choose how they want to connect and which services they use.

Those interested in learning more about and acquiring these tools and services can receive updates about our introduction plans by visiting and completing a short form.

About Surescripts
Surescripts supports the most comprehensive ecosystem of health care organizations nationwide with the nation's largest e-prescription network. Surescripts was founded on the principles of privacy, security, neutrality, choice, transparency, collaboration and quality. Surescripts connects prescribers in all 50 states through their choice of e-prescribing software to the nation's leading payers, chain pharmacies and independent pharmacies. By securely and reliably providing that information during emergencies and routine 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

About Kryptiq Corporation
Kryptiq facilitates a first-of-its-kind, open collaborative network for healthcare that connects physicians with each other and their patients. Physicians and their staffs are using affordable and pragmatic technologies from Kryptiq to increase revenue capture, improve efficiency, and measure and enhance patient services. More than 40,000 physicians use Kryptiq solutions delivered on this nationwide network to mobilize vital healthcare data. With Kryptiq's software and services such as secure messaging, patient portal, e-prescribing, patient revenue capture and document management, physician offices improve their patient communication and accelerate operational and revenue performance of the practice. For more information on the company, visit

Press Contact:
Rob Cronin

October 26, 2010 • 14 min read