Nearly 80% of prescriptions delivered electronically, Surescripts says
- Surescripts fielded 13.7 billion secure health data transactions in 2017, a 26% increase over the previous year, according to a new report by the health information network.
- The share of prescriptions delivered electronically rose to 77%, up from 73% in 2016. The volume of e-prescriptions for controlled substances jumped 71% — from 11% in 2016 to 21% last year.
- Meanwhile, electronic prior authorizations shot up 350%, with 64% of approvals returned within one minute. Prior authorizations were enabled for more than 100,000 prescribers and nearly 7,000 care sites across the U.S.
Overall, Surescripts registered 1.74 billion e-prescriptions in 2017 and 3.1 million real-time prescription benefit transactions in 2017. The network also delivered 1.46 billion medication histories and 25.9 million clinical direct messages.
Advances in interoperability and patient enthusiasm have helped to fuel a rise in e-prescriptions. The Office of the National Coordinator has also promoted them, saying they raise patient satisfaction and cut costs from fraud and abuse.
Last fall, Surescripts announced an effort to boost transparency around prescription drug benefits and pricing. Working with with electronic health record (EHR) vendors and pharmacy benefit managers, the company provides real-time patient-specific benefit and price information to providers at the point of care. Once integrated with EHRs, patients and doctors can view information and pricing on alternative drug choices.
Partners in that effort include EHR vendors Epic, Cerner, Allscripts, Aprima Medical Software and GE Healthcare, as well as PBMs CVS Health and Express Scripts.
The Surescripts report also touts a 26% increase in accuracy of prescriptions. Nearly all e-prescriptions (95%) met quality standards for potency unit code, 56% for drug description, 49% for representative national drug code and 43% for RxNorm, the company says.
Oncologists lead in e-prescribing, at 84%, followed by sports medicine specialists (82%), nephrologists (80%), cardiologists (80%) and family practitioners (79%). For controlled substances, the top e-prescribers are pain medicine specialists, psychiatrists and oncologists.
Surescripts also reported the exchange of 16 million clinical documents and 65 million documents listing patients’ prior care locations in 2017. In addition, 197,000 alerts were sent to the point of care highlighting medication adherence issues.