ARLINGTON, Va. – April 19, 2017 – Surescripts, the nation’s leading health information network, introduced Sentinel™ which measures the accuracy of electronic prescriptions and delivers insights to pharmacists, prescribers and technology vendors. Sentinel will raise the bar for patient safety, care quality and workflow efficiency by pinpointing specific areas for improvement and providing analysis of electronic prescribing trends to inform better patient care.
“Sentinel is a testament to Surescripts’ commitment to going above and beyond industry standards to improve the quality of e-prescriptions flowing across our network.” said Tom Skelton, Chief Executive Officer of Surescripts. “We brought hundreds of industry leaders together to transform e-prescribing. With more than 70% of prescriptions delivered electronically today, this comprehensive approach will have a direct impact on patient care by helping pharmacists and prescribers identify and fix inaccuracies and avoid time-consuming errors.”
During 2017, Surescripts aims to improve e-prescribing accuracy more than 20 percent across a number of network-wide metrics. Sentinel will monitor all of the more than 1.5 billion electronic prescriptions sent across the Surescripts network annually, while complying with applicable laws and ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of personal health information.
“Electronic prescribing helps deliver patient benefit information across care settings and helps prescribers make safer, more cost-effective care decisions,” said Troyen Brennan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at CVS Health. “Sentinel will provide improved accuracy monitoring that will benefit prescribers, pharmacists and patients.”
Surescripts Sentinel links multiple data sources, including the Surescripts network, industry-wide drug compendia, such as First Databank, and the National Library of Medicine, to provide actionable intelligence that is accurate, scalable, timely and detailed. The information is used to validate ongoing data quality improvements; identify opportunities to improve process efficiency; track e-prescribing utilization to identify trends and patterns; and inform research, white papers and clinical information.
“Sentinel will help community pharmacists streamline the electronic prescribing process to reduce callbacks and faxes,” said DeAnn Mullins, BPharm, CDE, President of National Community Pharmacists Association. “The actionable intelligence will also be helpful as our industry looks for new ways to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic.”
In developing Sentinel, Surescripts identified and validated 11 major pain points based on input from hundreds of prescribers, pharmacists, technology vendors, and drug compendia. These pain points include ensuring that prescriber intent and patient directions are clear and that standard drug descriptions match the identifiers. Surescripts developed action plans to address each of these pain points and established quality metrics to help track progress with ongoing quality improvements.
“We are excited that Surescripts is spearheading the effort to link leading prescription data sources through Sentinel,” said Dewey Howell, MD, PhD, VP of Clinical Applications with First Databank. “Real-time electronic prescription accuracy data is imperative to improving consistency, efficiency and care quality.”
E-prescribing has been shown to improve medication safety and adherence, which reduces hospital readmissions, cuts costs, and improves patient care. But, the increasing volume and complexity of e-prescribing means that inefficiencies and errors can have a significant impact on the speed and accuracy of e-prescriptions, including manual handling by pharmacists, phone calls back to physicians, faxes sent back and forth, and disgruntled patients who are forced to wait for prescriptions to be filled. Surescripts has found that two-thirds of all data in an e-prescription is unstructured free-text, and as many as 10 percent of e-prescriptions still require some type of extra, manual handling, such as phone calls between pharmacists and prescribers.
“As electronic prescribing continues to gain traction, Allscripts is pleased to continue leadership in this area and work closely with Surescripts and others across the industry to further innovate and improve physician and pharmacy communication to meet the needs of physicians and patients,” said Jay Bhattacharyya, General Manager, Payer and Life Sciences with Allscripts. “Ensuring that prescribers have access to accurate and timely prescription information is critical to their ability to deliver high quality care and improve patient outcomes.”