Technologies That Enhance Prescribing and Inform Care Decisions Take Off, Giving Healthcare Professionals Actionable Intelligence to Increase Patient Safety and Care Quality While Lowering Costs
Healthcare interoperability is alive and well across the United States, according to the Surescripts National Progress Report, which reveals that 13.7 billion secure health data transactions traversed the nation’s largest health information network last year—a 26 percent increase over 2016. Having evolved its capabilities far beyond electronic prescribing, the Surescripts Network Alliance® expanded to include 1.47 million healthcare professionals who have the ability to access health data for 233 million patients, or 71 percent of the U.S. population.
Surescripts operates an industrial-strength health information network that delivers actionable patient intelligence at critical points in care to increase patient safety, lower costs and improve quality. The nationwide network offers a portfolio of solutions that work together to enhance prescribing, inform care decisions and advance healthcare. Today, the Surescripts Network Alliance includes virtually all electronic health records (EHR) companies, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), pharmacies and clinicians, and an increasing number of health plans, long-term care and specialty pharmacy organizations.
“The Surescripts Network Alliance continued to make remarkable progress in 2017, signaling that healthcare interoperability is indeed happening today,” said Tom Skelton, Chief Executive Officer of Surescripts. “Over the last decade, E-Prescribing has matured and scaled. Now, newer functionality like Record Locator & Exchange and Real-Time Prescription Benefit are ramping up at an impressive rate. And we’re measuring, at scale, the accuracy of this massive transaction volume—a capability with the potential to truly redefine and elevate the state of U.S. healthcare.”
Major Progress Toward Perfecting E-Prescribing
In 2017, the Surescripts Critical Performance Improvement program continued to work across the Surescripts Network Alliance to drive broader adoption of e-prescribing and better prescription data quality for the benefit of every pharmacist, prescriber and patient. In 2017, Surescripts Sentinel™ measured a 26 percent increase in prescription accuracy network-wide. With 77 percent of all prescriptions delivered electronically, these quality improvements are having a direct and immediate impact on patient safety. At the same time, the volume of e-prescriptions for controlled substances increased 71 percent over 2016 as more prescribers adopted the technology.
Price Transparency and Therapeutic Alternatives Empower Prescribers and Patients
Last year, Surescripts introduced a solution to help transform the prescription decision process between prescribers and their patients. When used together, Real-Time Prescription Benefit, Prior Authorization and E-Prescribing deliver patient-specific drug benefit and cost information—including therapeutic alternatives and their costs—within the e-prescribing workflow at the point of care. In 2017, Electronic Prior Authorization transactions increased 350 percent, with more than 100,000 prescribers enabled nationwide. In addition, Surescripts processed more than 3 million Real-Time Prescription Benefit transactions.
Bringing Technology to the Front Lines of the Opioid Epidemic
In response to a national health emergency, Surescripts continued taking action to prevent opioid fraud and abuse through a combination of technology, education and public policy. In 2017, the number of prescribers enabled for Electronic Prescribing for Controlled Substances (EPCS) increased 59 percent. In New York, three-quarters of all prescribers were enabled for EPCS at the end of the year, following the enactment of legislation mandating the use of the technology. Meanwhile, Surescripts delivered 1.46 billion patient medication histories nationwide, helping healthcare professionals make more informed care decisions for their patients.
Nationwide Interoperability Surges On
The Surescripts Network Alliance successfully partnered across the healthcare marketplace to push industrywide interoperability to the next level. In 2017, an increasing number of providers across the country chose Record Locator & Exchange to obtain a more complete view of patient history directly in their EHR workflow. In fact, more than 50,000 clinicians used the solution to access and exchange an annualized total of 16 million clinical documents and 65 million documents summarizing where a patient previously received care. And healthcare professionals across the country sent nearly 26 million clinical direct messages—a 32 percent increase over 2016—enabling more informed care decisions for clinicians and pharmacists alike.
Download the Surescripts National Progress Report. Visit surescripts.com to learn more about solutions that enhance e-prescribing and inform care decisions. And explore Intelligence in Action to see Surescripts’ work to advance healthcare.