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Surescripts Sees 40% Increase in Health Data Exchange Users

More than 72,000 healthcare providers are using Surescripts’ record locator and health data exchange service as of August 2018.

The user base of Surescripts record locator and health data exchange service grew 40 percent in the last year.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- The user base of Surescripts Record Locator & Exchange service has grown by more than 40 percent since 2017, representing a surge in the number of healthcare providers engaging in health data exchange over the past year.

This increase in Surescripts adoption and use was partly spurred by an uptick in Epic, NextGen, and eClinicalWorks EHR users implementing the service to share patient health records with other providers using Surescripts functionality.

As of August 2018, more than 72,000 clinicians utilize Surescripts services.  

“This remarkable momentum is enabling the Surescripts Network Alliance™ to rapidly benefit from the promise interoperability holds to provide actionable patient intelligence at the point of care,” said Surescripts CEO Tom Skelton.

“Having Record Locator & Exchange embedded in the EHR is supporting providers across the country in continually improving care quality and patient safety while lowering costs,” Skelton continued.

Hospitals and healthcare organizations including Tampa General Hospital and Virginia Hospital Center have recently joined the alliance and further extended the reach of Surescripts’ Record Locator & Exchange functionality to offer clinicians nationwide access to patient EHRs.

All clinicians who connect to Surescripts enable other providers part of the alliance to access the information of patients visiting their healthcare organizations.

The alliance’s Record Locator & Exchange service uses the Carequality Interoperability Framework to increase standardization and enable streamlined data sharing across care settings, facilities, networks, and EHR vendor systems.

“Doctors, nurses and other clinicians need the full picture of their patients’ medical history in order to make the best possible clinical decisions, and patients increasingly expect their care teams to have it,” said Carequality Vice President Dave Cassel.

“The Carequality Framework provides connectivity into a huge array of potential data sources, and a record location service can help users take full and efficient advantage of that connectivity,” Cassel continued.

NextGen recently began implementing Surescripts for users that have also implemented the Carequality framework.

“A record location service on its own has value, but when paired with an interoperability framework that empowers real-time access to records, it dramatically increases our ability to improve the efficiency and safety of care delivery,” said Cassel.

Using Carequality along with Surescripts can help to boost the efficiency of health data exchange across provider organizations.

“As an industry, we have an obligation to empower providers with the best possible clinical information at the time of care,” said NextGen Healthcare Solutions Director Muhammad Chebli.

“NextGen Healthcare’s integration with Carequality and Surescripts Record Locater & Exchange is another example of our commitment to creating an even greater level of interoperability within our healthcare system, ultimately resulting in improved care and outcomes,” he continued.

Ambulatory practices that use eClinicalWorks have had the capability to connect to Carequality participants since 2017. Currently, more than 2,200 ambulatory practices utilize Surescripts health data exchange services to access and send about 8 million clinical documents per month.

“Thousands of eClinicalWorks customers are harnessing the power of Surescripts Record Locator & Exchange to locate records more intelligently and precisely, as well as exchange clinical documents from practices and hospitals using other EHRs,” said eClinicalWorks Director of Strategy and Business Development Tushar Malhotra.

“By leveraging Surescripts’ sophisticated patient matching, they have the added ability to more effectively respond to queries from external sources so they can make more informed care decisions and provide higher quality patient care,” Malhotra continued.

Surescripts is continually working to help healthcare providers overcome barriers to EHR interoperability to achieve success in a value-based care system.

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