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Arlington, Va. – March 11, 2024 – Surescripts®, the nation’s leading health information network, saw a nearly 10% increase in patient intelligence sharing in 2023, with nearly 24 billion exchanges of patient clinical and benefit information, connecting 2.14 million care providers and organizations and reaching more than 99% of the U.S. population, according to new data in the 2023 National Progress Report.

“The data in this year’s report shows that Surescripts and our partners across the Network Alliance remain unmatched in advancing interoperability at scale,” said Frank Harvey, Chief Executive Office for Surescripts. “But it goes beyond the numbers – it's really about what it means for patients and those who care for them, like helping them save money on prescriptions, alleviating provider burnout that can limit access to care and getting patients needed medications faster.”

The annual report also highlighted the top 10 counties most impacted by worsening primary care provider (PCP) shortages where there are the greatest opportunities for pharmacies to help ensure timely access to quality healthcare. The counties include:

  1. Hudson, NJ
  2. Shelby, AL
  3. Carolina, PR
  4. Morgan, AL
  5. Robeson, NC
  6. Madison, MS
  7. Bradley, TN
  8. Marshall, AL
  9. Sevier, TN
  10. Guaynabo, PR

According to the report, 62.9% of U.S. counties had fewer than one primary care provider for every 1,500 residents, and 196 had no primary care providers at all. At the same time, annual growth in PCPs using electronic prescribing averaged just 1.7% from 2019 to 2023, compared to 10% among non-PCPs. Of those, pharmacists saw the most growth in 2023, with 28.93%, compared to 9.82% for nurse practitioners, 9.79% for hospitalists, 9.77% for general practitioners and 7.91% for physician assistants.

“We see responsibilities shifting across the care team as other types of clinicians take on more clinical responsibility—including pharmacists, among whom e-prescribing jumped dramatically in 2023,” Harvey explained. “By empowering pharmacists and physicians to collaborate, we can help ensure healthcare remains accessible for patients no matter where they live.”

Report Highlights:

  • In 2023, Record Locator & Exchange was used by 259,699 clinicians from 59,172 organizations across all 50 states and Washington, D.C.—a 3.8% increase in users from 2022. Together, they found and shared 1.89 billion clinical documents representing 31% of the Carequality interoperability framework’s average monthly exchange activity in 2023.
  • Surescripts delivered 2.97 billion medication histories to clinicians that helps simplify the patient medication review process. This technology provides data standardization, augmentation and deduplication, making the experience simpler and safer. One health system saw a 98.9% reduction in medication history errors during care transitions in 2023.
  • Surescripts processed 2.5 billion electronic prescriptions, including 302.9 million electronic prescriptions for controlled substances in 2023.
  • In addition, Sig IQ technology augmented 1.4 million electronic prescription renewal requests in Q4 alone, translating free-text patient directions into a quality-controlled, clinically validated format or Structured & Codified Sig, meaning prescribers can approve requests in fewer keystrokes and patient safety is enhanced.
  • The number of prescribers using Real-Time Prescription Benefit increased by 9.8% in 2023, meaning 60% of all e-prescribers on the Surescripts network used the service.
  • When Real-Time Prescription Benefit was used to find a less costly medication, patients saw an average savings of $37 per prescription and $785 per specialty medication.
  • In 2023, 881,070 pharmacists, prescribers, payers and other healthcare organizations—including 22,556 pharmacies—used Clinical Direct Messaging to send and receive secure, HIPAA-compliant messages.
  • Surescripts saw a 49% increase in the number of prior authorizations processed electronically in 2023, and a 20% increase in prior authorizations for specialty medications processed electronically.

Check out Surescripts 2023 National Progress Report.

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