Surescripts, Microsoft offer online access to medication history

By Mike Miliard
10:40 AM

Surescripts announced a service on Tuesday that seeks to make it easier for consumers to access an electronic record of their prescriptions. The service – Medication History for Personal Health Records (PHRs) – will allow users of Microsoft HealthVault to request and receive records of their dispensed medications from community pharmacies using Surescripts’s secure connection to HealthVault.

"Medication history is critical to ensuring that people have a useful longitudinal view of their health – whether they are monitoring their own well-being or that of a family member," said David Cerino, general manager for Microsoft’s Health Solutions Group. "By connecting its service to HealthVault, Surescripts is enabling people to actively use their prescription history in the context of their broader health and wellness information, which we think will lead to smarter decisions, and ultimately better health management."

Users will be prompted to log into their HealthVault account from the websites of participating community pharmacies and request that their medication history be downloaded into their HealthVault account. A robust identity proofing process is incorporated as part of this initial request to protect privacy. Upon successful completion of this process, medication history can be updated any time there are new prescriptions dispensed from a participating pharmacy without further action by the HealthVault user. Updates to medication history will be made daily, allowing users to keep their records as current as possible.

As Surescripts and Microsoft see it, providing consumers with the opportunity to create or supplement their own record of medication history using information provided by pharmacies empowers them to take a more active role in their care. And when shared with their various healthcare providers, this information promotes more complete drug-to-drug and drug-allergy interaction checks, which supports improvement in the safety and quality of the prescribing process.  

Surescripts’ Medication History for PHRs service also benefits pharmacies. By using their existing connection to the Surescripts network to deliver this information to their customers, pharmacies avoid the added expense and complexity of developing and maintaining direct, individual connections with personal health record services.

"Our Medication History for Personal Health Records service represents a unique opportunity to simplify the way this information is delivered to consumers," said Bob Beckley, senior vice president for customer innovation at Surescripts. "Pharmacies and PHR vendors can now link over one connection instead of many. This will consolidate their operations and enable them to make it easier for consumers to access their prescription information."