Surescripts reports increase in patient data sharing across HIE network

In 2023, Surescripts saw increased utilization of several patient data sharing tools, including its Real-Time Prescription Benefit services.

The Surescripts 2023 National Progress Report underscores interoperability gains across the health information exchange (HIE) network, including a 10 percent increase in patient data sharing compared to 2022.

Overall, the network supported nearly 24 billion exchanges of patient clinical and benefit information, connecting 2.14 million providers and organizations and reaching over 99 percent of the United States population.  

"The data in this year's report shows that Surescripts and our partners across the Network Alliance remain unmatched in advancing interoperability at scale," Frank Harvey, CEO of Surescripts, said in a public statement.

"But it goes beyond the numbers – it's really about what it means for patients and those who care for them, like helping them save money on prescriptions, alleviating provider burnout that can limit access to care, and getting patients needed medications faster," Harvey added.

The annual report also noted the counties most affected by worsening primary care provider (PCP) shortages.

The counties include:

  • Hudson, NJ
  • Shelby, AL
  • Carolina, PR
  • Morgan, AL
  • Robeson, NC
  • Madison, MS
  • Bradley, TN
  • Marshall, AL
  • Sevier, TN
  • Guaynabo, PR

According to the report, 62.9 percent of US counties had fewer than one PCP for every 1,500 residents, and 196 had no primary care providers.

Simultaneously, annual growth in PCPs using ePrescribing averaged just 1.7 percent from 2019 to 2023, compared to 10 percent across non-PCPs.

Pharmacists saw the greatest ePrescribing expansion in 2023, with 28.93 percent, compared to 9.82 percent for nurse practitioners, 9.79 percent for hospitalists, 9.77 percent for general practitioners, and 7.91 percent for physician assistants.

"We see responsibilities shifting across the care team as other types of clinicians take on more clinical responsibility—including pharmacists, among whom e-prescribing jumped dramatically in 2023," Harvey said. "By empowering pharmacists and physicians to collaborate, we can help ensure healthcare remains accessible for patients no matter where they live."

Additional interoperability highlights from 2023 include:

  • Over 259,000 clinicians used the Record Locator & Exchange tool, a 3.8 percent increase in users from 2022.
  • Surescripts sent 2.97 billion medication histories to clinicians, which aims to streamline patient medication review.
  • In 2023, Surescripts processed 2.5 billion ePrescriptions, including 302.9 million ePrescriptions for controlled substances.
  • Sixty percent of prescribers on the Surescripts network used the Surescripts medication pricing feature (Real-Time Prescription Benefit) in 2023, an increase of 9.8 percent compared to 2022.
  • When end-users used Real-Time Prescription Benefit to find a less expensive medication, patients saved $37 per prescription and $785 per specialty medication, on average.
  • Over 880,000 pharmacists, prescribers, payers, and other healthcare organizations used Clinical Direct Messaging to send and receive secure, HIPAA-compliant messages.
  • Surescripts experienced a 49 percent increase in the number of prior authorizations processed electronically in 2023, as well as a 20 percent increase in prior authorizations for specialty medications processed electronically.

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