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EHR Vendors Epic, athenahealth, Earn Surescripts ePrescribing Award

Surescripts recognized EHR vendors and health systems for their investments in ePrescribing, which boosts patient safety and mitigates clinician burden.

Health IT vendor Surescripts has announced the 2021 winners of its White Coat Award for ePrescription accuracy, including EHR vendors athenahealth and Epic systems.

The award celebrates healthcare leaders that have adopted ePrescribing best practices to improve patient safety and care delivery.

The 2021 Surescripts White Coat Award winners include EHR vendors athenahealth, NextGen Healthcare, and ScriptSure DAW Systems. For health systems, awardees include Bassett Healthcare Network, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Lexington Medical Center, and MidMichigan Health.

And for retail or mail-order pharmacies and their vendors, awardees included Epic, Humana Pharmacy, NowRx Pharmacy, and Walmart.

"The Surescripts Network Alliance has a unique opportunity to lead the nation in optimizing health data exchange—an effort that takes collaboration among healthcare organizations of all kinds," Tom Skelton, chief executive officer of Surescripts, noted in a public statement.

"With each performance improvement made by this year's White Coat Award winners, we're delivering actionable patient intelligence to more points of care and make a meaningful impact on cost, safety, and quality,” he added

Physicians and pharmacists use ePrescribing because they say it could support patient data exchange to mitigate phone calls and faxes to clarify prescriber intent or receive prior authorization.

"E-prescribing technology saves time, increases patient safety and provides a series of additional benefits, but if the prescriptions being sent include inaccurate, missing or confusing information, the effects can be tremendous and perhaps lead to an error,” explained Adam Forman, chief operating and compliance officer of ScriptSure DAW Systems.

The health IT also accelerates time to therapy by eliminating confusion and rework, which helps to ensure patients get the best possible care.

The award is based on data provided by Surescripts Sentinel, an automated system that monitors ePrescriptions.

This year, Surescripts recognized White Coat Award winners in three categories:

  • The Highest Accuracy award recognized the best overall accuracy score, as measured by Surescripts Sentinel.
  • The Structured & Codified Sig Champion award recognized organizations making the best use of the Structured & Codified Sig field, which standardizes directions for medication use for streamlined prescribing and dispensing.
  • The RxChange Champion award highlighted organizations advancing the RxChange transaction, which lets pharmacies communicate with prescribers to resolve prescription concerns within their clinical workflow.

"We are grateful to be recognized as an industry leader for embracing technology advancements that help improve and simplify the pharmacy experience for both providers and patients,” said Michael Taday, senior vice president of Humana Pharmacy. “This award underscores Humana Pharmacy's strong commitment to providing quality of care through prescription accuracy.”

In a recent interview with EHRIntelligence, Andrew Mellin, MD, MBA, a VP and chief medical information officer at Surescripts, noted that ePrescribing tools are well-positioned to cut clinician burnout that is associated with traditional data exchange processes such as fax machines.

“In many places, fax is like a dumping ground for anything that possibly needs to be communicated with the provider office,” Mellin explained.

Physician offices must sort the information in the inbox and figure out who it should be distributed to. But this system is inefficient and leads to clinician burden, Mellin said, offering an example of how this affects provider offices.

“There was nurse who was responsible for specialty medications,” he explained. “Twice a day, she had to get up and walk to another building across the parking lot, go to the fax machine, go through a stack of papers, and select the ones that were relevant. Then, she had to walk back and manually scan each paper and enter them into EHR.”

Mellin also emphasized how burdensome faxing processes negatively impact the patient experience, particularly timely care access.

When providers receive faxed patient health data, it often sits on the fax machine for hours or even days before it gets sorted, entered into the EHR, and routed to the right person, he explained. On the other hand, when an electronic message from a pharmacy goes directly into a providers’ in-basket, the provider is able to acknowledge and act on the information more quickly.

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