Surescripts says data transactions for 2015 spiked nearly 50 percent as interoperability advances

The network now conducts more transactions daily than Amazon or Uber, according to CEO Tom Skelton.
By Bernie Monegain
09:33 AM
Surescripts interoperability

Surescripts said that it processed 9.7 billion health data transactions in 2015 – a 48 percent increase over 2014.

That number translates into 3.8 million electronic prescriptions each day, according to Surescripts’ 2015 National Progress Report,

Surescripts CEO Tom Skelton credited advances in interoperability as the catalyst and added that the healthcare industry is starting to recognize and understand the benefits of health information exchange.

“We’re seeing people look at this and understand that they’re creating value,” he added. “There have been major investments made by government, by physicians, by hospitals to build out a digital clinical infrastructure – and now starting to weave all of that in together is really where all the benefits come into play. I think we’re seeing evidence that that’s occurred.” 

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As more doctors abandoned paper scripts for electronic prescribing, the Surescripts network connected more than one million healthcare professionals and provided access to information on more than 240 million patients. Seventy-seven percent of all prescriptions were digital – up from 67 percent in 2014, and 58 percent in 2013.

In addition to the 1.4 billion electronic prescriptions the network handled last year, it also processed 1.05 billion medication histories and 15.3 million clinical messages.

To put the stats at Surescripts in sharper focus, Skelton noted the number of prescriptions the company handled daily in 2015 is bigger than the 1.4 million orders Amazon processes daily and surpasses the 2 million rides Uber provides each day.

Skelton also said that since 2010, the number of medication histories processed by Surescripts quadrupled, saving hospitals more than $400 million, and helping to prevent more than 25,000 patient readmissions and more than 15,000 adverse drug events in 2015 alone.

“In the early days of interoperability there were a lot of questions about the benefit for patients, the benefit for physicians, the benefit for pharmacists, and I think we’ve seen a lot of that subside,” Skelton said.

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