NEW ORLEANS — Moving, in its own words, “beyond e-prescribing,” paperless platform provider Surescripts has begun expanding its nationwide e-prescribing network to allow doctors, pharmacists and other health professionals to exchange all types of clinical information.
The move, Surescripts said, will improve patient outcomes, boost an integrated and more collaborative model for patient care, lower costs and accelerate the digital transformation of the nation’s healthcare system by enabling the electronic exchange of all types of clinical information. Broadening its communications platform will “enable U.S. doctors to share all types of health information,” according to the company.
The expansion, announced Oct. 25, is nothing less than “a new day for Surescripts and a new day for the nation’s healthcare system,” asserted Harry Totonis, the company’s president and CEO. “We are proud to support the federal government’s efforts to encourage doctors to use electronic health record systems to improve quality and safety, and to reduce the cost of care.”
Totonis said that widening the digital communications highway will make it easier for physicians—along with pharmacies, pharmacy benefit managers, health plans and health information exchanges—to send and receive protected clinical data on patients.
The system, noted the company, will provide its network participants and electronic health record partners with new, secure messaging tools through an investment by the company in Kryptiq, a technology firm specializing in data encryption.
“The move is further supported by two years worth of technology pilot work at Minute-Clinic, the pioneer and largest provider of retail medical clinics in the United States,” Surescripts announced.
To launch the new open network, Surescripts said it will extend its existing collaboration with EHR vendors and all network participants to speed the movement of clinical information “when and…where it is needed by a patient’s healthcare providers, be they a physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant or pharmacist,” said a company spokesman. “The Surescripts network will remain complementary to current EHR, [health information exchange] and health system networks by allowing them to connect to a national backbone that, in turn, can connect them with any other network.”
Totonis explained, “the services will be new, but the approach will not. Surescripts will adhere to the same set of principles that propelled e-prescribing adoption in the United States to 200,000 physicians in less than a decade: privacy, security, neutrality, physician and patient choice, transparency, collaboration and quality. We will continue to work with and enable our EHR partners.”
Totonis said the newly expanded network would be “open and neutral,” and “complementary to other healthcare networks and to local exchanges.” Surescripts, he added, will provide tools to electronic health record systems and all network participants to access the new services.