Surescripts sees big boost in e-prescribing, patient data transfer

Electronic prescribing of controlled substances was up 256 percent in 2016, company says.
By Bernie Monegain
12:48 PM
surescripts e-prescribing

Healthcare information network Surescripts on Wednesday reported big jumps in the number of transactions and electronic prescriptions across its system since a year ago.

“We started with e-prescribing, and we’ve expanded our support of prescription decisions to include patient-specific authorization, benefits and cost information, said Surescripts CEO Tom Skelton. “The progress we’re seeing reinforces the value we’re delivering by increasing patient safety, lowering costs, and ensuring quality care.”

[Also: Surescripts to unveil new Sentinel e-prescription monitoring system at HIMSS17]

The report shows the adoption of electronic prescribing of controlled substances is growing, with 45.34 million prescriptions for controlled substances delivered electronically in 2016 – a 256 percent increase over the year before.

Four new states – North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and North Carolina – entered the top 10 for e-prescribing of controlled substances. In New York, where an e-prescribing mandate took effect last April, prescriber enablement grew 45.5 percent, resulting in a 54.2 percent jump in the number of controlled substances prescribed electronically.

The new numbers are part of Surescripts 2016 National Progress Report.

They show, 10.9 billion secure transactions – 12 percent more than in 2015. And included in those transactions are 1.6 billion electronic prescriptions, or 180,000 every hour.

Surescripts said the network connected 1.3 million healthcare professionals -- 21.5 percent more than in 2015 -- providing secure patient data for 230 million Americans, or 71 percent of the population.

Also, more than 1.08 billion medication history transactions containing critical patient data were made available to providers at the point of care, and it provided more than 2.2 million documents on where patients received care, including information from more than 43 million patient visits to more than 165,000 clinicians.

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