The Surescripts Blog

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Industry Collaboration Is the Key to Improving Patient Safety

With more than one billion e-prescriptions flowing through our network every year, we must ensure the data is comprehensive, accurate and usable. When clinicians and pharmacists receive reliable information at critical points of care—we call it actionable patient intelligence—they can make better informed decisions. This leads to lower costs, higher quality and increased safety—the “holy grail” of healthcare.

Surescripts Sentinel™ Takes E-Prescribing to a Whole New Level

With the shift toward value-based care and the fact that three-fourths of the nation’s prescriptions are now electronic, data accuracy is more important than ever. And given that 1.5 billion electronic prescriptions cross the Surescripts network each year, we must ensure the information is correct and workflows are efficient so patient care and safety can be optimized.

One Doctor’s Rallying Cry: We Need to Adopt E-prescribing to Combat Opioid Abuse

How does one of the industry’s leading surgeons and medical educators want to fight the opioid epidemic? With e-prescribing. Specifically, the electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS). Dr. Atul Gawande, general and endocrine surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, and professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School believes EPCS is crucial to reducing opioid abuse.

Cross-Industry Collaboration Aims to Improve Data Quality

Although Surescripts has always worked closely with our network participants to maintain the integrity and accuracy of the information on our network, we still recognize the need to continually work towards even higher e-prescribing quality. Today, e-prescribing is virtually the norm, with more than 1.5 billion e-prescriptions annually—or 3,000 a minute—flowing through our network.

A Primer on Surescripts’ Nationwide Medication History Data

Different pieces of a patient’s medication history reside within electronic health record (EHR) systems maintained by various ambulatory care providers, hospitals, long-term care facilities, community pharmacies, pharmacy benefit managers (PBM), health plans, and with the individual patient.

Alert: New E-Prescription Quality Guidelines

Six years ago, Surescripts implemented the Clinical Quality Management program to measure, monitor and improve the quality of e-prescriptions flowing through the network. As part of this initiative, we conducted an analysis that revealed the absence of widely recognized guidelines and best practices for e-prescription messaging data quality.

JAMA Internal Medicine Study Provides Wake-Up Call: Improving e-Prescription Safety and Standards Adoption

With 77 percent of all prescriptions in the U.S. being routed electronically in 2015, e-prescribing is now the industry norm. However, there is still room for improvement when it comes to e-prescription quality and the user experience. One area for continuing quality improvement is the Notes field, as described in a recent Surescripts-led study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine last month.

Survey: Providers, EHR Vendors Weigh-In on the Importance of Electronic Prior Authorization

For providers, the term “prior authorization” (PA) often evokes feelings of extreme frustration. Prior authorization is used to determine if certain drugs, such as high cost medications used for cancer treatment, are covered by a patient’s health insurer and able to be prescribed. Although designed to control costs, providers have grown extremely aggravated with the process, spending five to eight hours per week handling these requests when manual processing is the only option.

Studies Highlight Threats and Opportunities of E-Prescribing Drug Codification

While standards have helped move health information exchange and interoperability forward, selected challenges remain. Two recently released studies in the Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy and Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association examine deficiencies in e-prescribing drug name identifiers and recommend strategies for improving the quality of care.

A Call for Technology Integration and Education for LTPAC Nurses

Q&A with American Medical Informatics Association, Part Two

Long-term and post-acute care facilities lag in technology adoption, risking delays in communication and gaps in patient health histories. This is particularly true during transitions of care, when information can get lost in the shuffle moving a patient from one facility to another without compatible health information systems.

For LTPAC Nurses, Technology Integration Starts with Clinical Assessment

Q&A with American Medical Informatics Association, Part One

When it comes to infusing technology into the care delivery process, never underestimate the power of a nurse. After more than 15 years in the field, Brenda Kulhanek, PhD, RN-BC, CPHIMS is one such change agent who is working to advance nursing informatics across the industry.

With EPCS Legal Nationwide, There is Still Work to Do

Similar to the critical yet complex path to industry interoperability, the electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) still has a ways to go before reaching its full potential. However, today Vermont becomes the final state to legalize EPCS for all schedules of controlled drugs.

I’ll Take One Refill, Hold the Fax

Although we’ve made great strides in e-prescribing adoption over the past 10 years, not all aspects of the process have been fully optimized. One question I hear all too often is: “Why do I still receive prescription refill requests by fax from electronically enabled pharmacies?”

The Time for EPCS is Here!

Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances enables a significantly better experience for both patients and providers when compared to the analog methods of the past.

#GetEPCS Ready with Surescripts

To aid prescribers and health systems across the country #getEPCS ready, we have developed an easy-to-follow educational tool. At Surescripts, we understand that getting EPCS ready may seem complicated.

Overcoming e-Prescribing Quality Issues

While e-prescribing does speed up the time it takes information to reach the pharmacy and eliminates the need to protect against coffee spills or physical damage, we are always looking for ways to improve the process.

Denied New To Follow Workflow

In the workflow for electronic prescription routing, there are two core message flows. The first deals with the routing of an entirely new prescription, called “NewRx” in the NCPDP standard.

The Olympics of Health IT

Today, Tuesday, July 31st, at noon ET, we will be announcing the winners of the 7th annual Safe-Rx Awards, created by Surescripts to recognize those states that are showing genuine vision and commitment to transforming health care delivery through health information technology and e-prescribing.

A quick programming note - I'll be presenting at this Monday, June 4th, discussing the challenge of measuring and managing quality in e-prescribing, and touching on how the Surescripts measurement and quality management system can serve as a model for other health IT practices, particularly electronic health records (EHRs).

National Progress Report

This is an exciting week at Surescripts as we release the 2011 National Progress Report on Thursday. You can register for the event, but we have already pre-released a few important statistics.

ACA Anniversary

It has long been established that controversy sells. So, it’s no surprise that the newspapers and the television broadcasts, as we reach Friday’s second anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), are focused on Supreme Court arguments and political crossfire over health reform.

Quality Organizations

I am trying to contact any quality organizations who would have an interest or a role to play in e-prescribing quality. ISMP and PQA have already been contacted. Who else do you think I should talk to? I heard IHI may be relevant.

Terminology of Problems

Surescripts has published a guide to terminology for e-prescribing content problems. This guide is a supplement to the Guidelines document that was published previously and can be used to identify, label, and categorize the issues that are found.

Drug Databases

All e-prescribing systems use a drug database at their core. Several commercial alternatives exist, as well as some low cost or free data sources.

Controlled Substances and Quality

We've now had a chance to review and comment on the Proposed Final Rule for E-Prescribing Controlled Substances. Of course my interest is to think about how quality is impacted and relates to the rule and the practice of e-prescribing controlled substances.

Formation of the quality function

I was asked to head up the Surescripts quality program in the summer of 2009. Since then, we've been surveying the landscape and talking to as many people as possible about quality as it relates to e-prescribing.