ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Surescripts, the nation’s leading health information network, processed 9.7 billion secure health data transactions in 2015—a 48 percent increase over 2014—according to data in the company’s 2015 National Progress Report. With an average of 3.8 million electronic prescriptions in the United States each day, Surescripts surpassed the daily number of Amazon packages shipped (1.4 millioni) and Uber rides taken (2 millionii) worldwide.
During 2015, the Surescripts network connected more than one million healthcare professionals and provided access to information on more than 240 million patients. Additionally in 2015, 77 percent of all prescriptions were digital—up from 67 percent in 2014, and 58 percent in 2013iii— as more doctors ditch the paper prescription pad in favor of e-prescribing.
Surescripts’ 2015 National Progress Report shows that healthcare providers are increasingly using technology that’s connected to the Surescripts network to securely exchange clinical data. Last year, the Surescripts network processed 1.4 billion electronic prescriptions, 1.05 billion medication histories and 15.3 million clinical messages, indicating tremendous growth in secure access to and sharing of patient health information between doctors, pharmacists, hospitals and health plans.
“The benefits of interoperability are made more and more clear as the Surescripts network continues to expand with new connections, new capabilities and new markets,” said Tom Skelton, Chief Executive Officer, Surescripts. “Our network brings together pharmacists, doctors, hospitals and payers who are embracing trusted technology and sharing health information on a much wider scale, driving increased efficiency and cost savings—but most importantly, improving the quality of patient care.”
The number of providers enabled to use electronic prescribing of controlled substances increased 359 percent in 2015, resulting in a more than 600 percent increase in e-prescriptions for these critical medications that require greater security and scrutiny to prevent fraud and abuse. In December 2015, opioids, which include painkillers like morphine and oxycodone, comprised 32 percent of all controlled substance e-prescriptions. Opioid overdose killed over 28,000 Americans in 2014 and leads the nation’s drug abuse epidemic as the number-one cause of preventable death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Since 2010, the number of medication histories processed by Surescripts more than quadrupled, potentially saving hospitals more than $400 million, and helping to prevent more than 25,000 patient readmissions and more than 15,000 adverse drug events in 2015 alone. With medical errors estimated as the third-leading cause of death in the United Statesiv, access to a patient’s medication history at the point of care is key to improving the medication reconciliation process and preventing errors.
In 2015, Surescripts continued to expand its network capabilities and connections. The company entered new and underserved markets like long-term and post-acute care, and enabled in-demand functionality like electronic prior authorization and patient record sharing. Surescripts is in the early adopter phase of its National Record Locator Service, a first-of-its-kind service that gives providers a fast and easy way to locate and exchange patient records. This ensures that providers have a more complete view of a patient’s health history, no matter where in the country the patient received care.
“Having access to patient histories made us aware of 560,000 extra medications and 13,500 additional allergies last year. This is tremendous with regard to avoiding clinical complications and adverse events,” said Erica Neher, Clinical Interoperability Lead, SSM Health. “The ability to find and share health histories on patients in a safe and timely manner is crucial to ensuring that health systems are providing the best care.”
To view the 2015 National Progress Report (#HITprogress), please visit www.surescripts.com/report.
iii Based on National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) total number of prescriptions
iv BMJ 2016;353:i2139