Surescripts Routes More Than Half of Prescriptions Electronically

The company also reported the adoption of electronic prescribing by independent pharmacies increased 11 percent between 2011 and 2013.

health care information technology

Health information network Surescripts said it routed more than 1 billion electronic prescriptions in 2013, representing a majority (58 percent) of all eligible prescriptions in the United States, sent by 73 percent of all office-based physicians.

The Surescripts network connects to 566,000 prescribers, more than 400 hospitals and health systems and more than 40 of the nation’s pharmacy benefit managers.

The network also connects more than 600 electronic health record (HER) applications, 43 state immunization registries and 21 health information exchanges (HIEs) and health information service providers (HISPs).

Overall, the total volume of prescriptions routed electronically increased 32 percent, up from 788 million in 2012 and 570 million in 2011, and as of 2013, 40 percent of pharmacies have achieved Surescripts certification to enable the electronic prescribing of controlled substances.

"For more than a decade, Surescripts has operated a network and built the relationships to get the right information to the right place at the right time," Paul Uhrig, acting CEO of Surescripts, said in a statement. "We’re incredibly proud to report measurable progress connecting and coordinating care providers through our network, because we believe that people and organizations working together will make health care more efficient, more effective and easier to navigate."

Last year, Delaware led Surescripts’ Safe-Rx Rankings, with 81 percent of physicians routing a total of 3.8 million electronic prescriptions.

The Safe-Rx Rankings are a nationwide measure of each state’s progress in advancing health-care safety, efficiency and quality through the adoption and use of electronic prescribing.

The rankings recognize the full utilization of electronic prescribing based on volume of prescription benefit, medication history and routing transactions.

All states routed at least 45 percent of eligible prescriptions electronically last year, and electronic prescribing has increased to where the last place state in 2013 would have been the first place state in 2009, by a margin of 13 percentage points.

The report also found Wisconsin, North Dakota and Connecticut all moved into the top 10 for the first time in 2013.

Meanwhile, the adoption of electronic prescribing by independent pharmacies increased 11 percent between 2011 and 2013, while adoption among chain pharmacies remained constant at 98 percent.

"Just as we’ve witnessed continued growth in e-prescribing over the past 13 years, so too have we seen the complexity of the health care system multiply," Uhrig continued. "Today, Surescripts has the assets and the experience that are needed to connect hospitals, pharmacists, providers, payers, pharmacy benefit managers, and others to enable the secure, electronic exchange of vast amounts of clinical data and make it useful across health care."