February 2018

It’s Time to Go for Gold in Prescription Accuracy

While watching this year’s Olympic Games, I found myself reflecting on the tremendous power of teamwork. No matter what sport top athletes compete in, they likely have a broad and deep team of supporters who help them identify and overcome obstacles, and ultimately become the best they can be.

The world of healthcare IT may seem far removed from that of Olympic athletes, but we have one thing in common: proof that collaboration and teamwork can lead to record-breaking success. And in our world, that’s where the Surescripts Network Alliance comes in.

Through the Surescripts Network Alliance Critical Performance Improvement (CPI) program, we are making significant progress toward perfecting e-prescribing to improve care quality, reduce costs and enhance patient safety.

How so? In 2015, we convened the alliance to identify and address e-prescribing’s pain points. And in 2016, we created Surescripts Sentinel™ to monitor and analyze electronic prescriptions and identify opportunities to improve the accuracy of the one billion e-prescriptions that cross the network each year. As a result, we’re now eliminating 50 million potential instances each month where a pharmacist has to leave their workflow to clarify prescriber intent.

In 2017, Surescripts measured a 26% improvement in prescription accuracy by optimizing the e-prescribing process across five key elements: Drug Description, Representative National Drug Code (NDC), RxNorm, Structured and Codified Sig and Potency Unit Code.

In looking at Sig alone, a recent study found that more than one in ten e-prescriptions—or nearly half a million a day—has a Sig (i.e., patient directions) that contains a quality issue. Such issues can cause confusion, errors and workflow disruption at the pharmacy. Given that Surescripts processes 4.8 million e-prescriptions each day, optimizing the system can greatly improve care.

Surescripts White Coat Award


As part of our ongoing effort to improve e-prescribing, we also recently launched a revamped Surescripts White Coat Award™. This award recognizes EHRs and health systems contracted with Surescripts that have taken meaningful steps to improve e-prescription accuracy. Using data from Sentinel, we’ll be awarding organizations for highest accuracy, most improved accuracy, and the best combined results in five key areas: Drug Description, Representative National Drug Code (NDC), RxNorm, Structured and Codified Sig and Potency Unit Code.

Be sure to visit the Surescripts booth (#632) at HIMSS, March 5–9 in Las Vegas, to learn more about the White Coat Award and the work we’re doing to increase prescription accuracy.  EHRs and health systems that contract directly with Surescripts are invited to join us for a reception in our booth on Wednesday, March 7 at 4 p.m. PST. There’s no doubt that this gold medal-worthy group will have industry-changing accomplishments to share.


January 2018

The CMS Proposed Update to NCPDP SCRIPT: Let’s Talk Timing and Consistency

In late November, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a new rule that calls for an update to the electronic prescribing standards used by the prescribers, pharmacies, their software vendors and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans who serve Medicare beneficiaries. Read more...

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.” Read more...

January 2018

Improving Patient Directions by Optimizing E-Prescribing

Pharmacists are many things—counselors, medication experts and key members of a patient’s care team. And our ability to deliver safe and high quality care largely depends on the quality and accuracy of the e-prescriptions we receive. We need to be able to clearly understand the prescriber’s intent, and it’s even better if we can stay in our workflow while we’re at it. Read more...