January 2018

AMA Recognizes the Need for Providers to More Easily Cancel Prescriptions

The American Medical Association (AMA) supports greater adoption of electronic prescription cancellation solutions, as resolved at its recent 2017 AMA Interim Meeting in Honolulu.

The nation’s largest association of physicians and medical students announced its new policy with a House of Delegates resolution stating its support for “the creation, standardization, and implementation of electronic prescription cancellation from all electronic medical record vendors and that these orders be accepted by pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers.”

In arriving at the new policy, the AMA noted that reducing medication errors is a goal throughout all levels of medicine, and that the ability to cancel a prescription is available today but is woefully underutilized.

Surescripts applauds this latest AMA policy and is committed to helping healthcare professionals prevent errors and send higher quality prescriptions. In fact, Surescripts E-Prescribing includes the NCPDP SCRIPT CancelRx transaction. When a prescriber discontinues a medication in their electronic health record (EHR) system or wants to correct a prescription error, CancelRx sends an electronic message to the pharmacy. Prescribers can also enter notes within the message to indicate the updated prescription or discontinued drug, giving the pharmacist more information in order to provide the best care to the patient. This information empowers the pharmacist to safely and accurately fill the prescription and deliver the best possible patient care at the pharmacy.

For far too long, the full potential of CancelRx has gone unrealized. So, as part of our continuous efforts to perfect e-prescribing, Surescripts has let the industry in promoting this critical functionality. 

Achieving this goal requires strong cross-market partnerships to unite disparate data from across healthcare. So in 2015, we convened more than 200 industry leaders to launch the Critical Performance Improvement program. Together we‘re working towards more successfully delivering accurate patient and clinical information in the form of error-free prescriptions. As a result, CancelRx use skyrocketed in 2017, increasing by almost 200 percent over 2016.

Increased CancelRx adoption, plus our other quality improvement measures, means Surescripts is on track to eliminate 50 million instances per month where a pharmacist has to seek clarification on prescriber intent­­—usually by leaving their normal workflow—to accurately fill a prescription. If you think of each of those 50 million potential instances in terms of real patients who depend on getting the right medication, the power of CancelRx to positively impact healthcare quality, safety and cost becomes crystal clear.

In addition to the valuable benefits of CancelRx, the Surescripts Network Alliance is increasing safety, accuracy and efficiency by offering expanded capabilities such as Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances. We are reaching new markets like Long-Term Care and automating the prescribing process for specialty medications. And we’re also leveraging the combined benefit of safe and seamless prescribing with electronic prior authorization and price transparency at the point of care, thereby transforming the prescription decision process and promoting medication adherence.

All of this work to enhance prescribing and inform care decisions ensures that prescribers and pharmacists have a streamlined and reliable workflow, so that they can stay off the phone and on the front lines with their patients, where they’re needed most.

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