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Surescripts Announces That Majority of Doctors in U.S. Now Use E-Prescribing

Annual 1-50 Ranking of States Based on E-Prescribing Use Shows Nationwide Growth of E-Prescribing; Safe-Rx Awards Salute Top E-Prescribing States, Detail Progress Across All (November 09, 2011)

ARLINGTON, VA -- (Marketwire) -- 11/09/11 -- Surescripts today announced that over 52 percent of office-based doctors now use e-prescribing. The announcement was made over Twitter as part of a nationwide online event featuring healthcare leaders and providers from across the U.S. who gathered to celebrate the sixth annual Safe-Rx Awards, given each year to the top 10 states based on e-prescribing use. To view and participate in the post-event discussion, go to www.surescripts.com/safe-rx where visitors can also find adoption and use statistics for all states and share in the experiences of the individuals and organizations driving the use of e-prescribing across the nation.

"Congratulations to this year's Safe-Rx Award winners and to all the states for taking action to improve one of the most fundamental parts of our nation's health care system," said Harry Totonis, president and CEO of Surescripts. "In three short years, the nation has moved from less than 10 percent to more than 50 percent of physicians e-prescribing. This represents one of the most significant milestones achieved to date in the nationwide effort to adopt and achieve meaningful use of health information technology."

By replacing a pen and paper prescription pad with a more accurate, reliable and secure electronic prescription and by allowing prescribers to access critical information regarding their patients' medications and health plan coverage, e-prescribing saves lives, time and money, and improves the quality of care.

Surescripts reported the following statistics, tracking the growth of e-prescribing nationwide:


  • 52 percent (291,000) of all office-based physicians now actively use e-prescribing compared with fewer than 10 percent three years ago
  • There are 357,000 active prescribers on the Surescripts network (including office-based physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants)
  • 94 percent of retail pharmacies nationwide are now connected and receiving e-prescriptions

Top 10 States With Highest Rates of E-Prescribing
1. Massachusetts
2. Delaware
3. Michigan
4. Connecticut
5. Rhode Island
6. Pennsylvania
7. South Dakota*
8. Iowa*
9. Oregon*
10. North Carolina*
*New to the top 10

According to the results of Surescripts' annual audit of electronic prescribing use across all states, it was determined that prescribers in the Bay State used e-prescribing for 43 percent of all prescriptions in 2010, thereby helping to avoid medication errors due to poor handwriting and similar drug names. What's more, 41 percent of patient visits benefit from electronic access to a patient's medication history, which helps doctors and their patients avoid potentially harmful drug interactions. For this accomplishment, Massachusetts was recognized at the sixth annual Safe-Rx Awards along with nine other states that made the greatest use of e-prescribing in 2010. To view the complete ranking of all states, go to www.surescripts.com/safe-rx.

"In the next 5 years, we are going to see electronic health information exchange of all types -- e-prescribing, clinical summaries, population health -- become commonplace and become the rule rather than the exception," said Dr. John Halamka, chief information officer at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, which was recently named the top-ranked healthcare information company in the nation by InformationWeek 500.

Halamka is the recipient of the prestigious Safe-Rx Evangelist Award, given each year to the person or organization whose work has made an extraordinary impact on the awareness and use of e-prescribing as a critical means of reducing medication errors.

"I look forward to it, because ultimately, in a few years, I'm going to be ready for retirement and I'll be a patient as well," said Halamka.

The Safe-Rx Awards celebrate leadership and exceptional commitment to advancing health care safety, efficiency and quality through the use of e-prescribing. They reflect Surescripts' long-standing collaboration with the nation's pharmacies, payers, physicians and technology vendors to support the exchange of health information over a network that is non commercial, neutral, transparent and standards-based. The Awards are based on a ranking that measures states' actual use of e-prescribing.

What About My State?
Ranking aside, e-prescribing use is growing substantially across all states in the U.S. in 2010. To view reports detailing the growth of e-prescribing adoption and use in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., go to http://bit.ly/rSDRZA.

E-Prescribing: A Leading Indicator for Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records
Surescripts applies a comprehensive method for ranking states' use of e-prescribing -- one that measures the use of three critical steps: electronically confirming a patient's prescription benefit information prior to sending the e-prescription; electronically cross-referencing a patient's medication history with pharmacies and payers; and electronically routing a prescription to the patient's choice of pharmacy.

This ranking method and associated statistics represent a unique opportunity for health care and policy leaders to track meaningful use of electronic health records. Because prescription benefit information, medication history and prescription routing assist in supporting at least four meaningful uses of an electronic health record, Surescripts' state statistics and ranking can now serve as a valuable proxy for tracking state and national progress against the administration's health IT agenda.

About Surescripts
The Surescripts network supports the most comprehensive ecosystem of healthcare organizations nationwide. Pharmacies, payers, pharmacy benefit managers, physicians, hospitals, health information exchanges and health technology firms rely on Surescripts to more easily and securely share health information. Guided by the principles of neutrality, transparency, physician and patient choice, open standards, collaboration and privacy, Surescripts operates the nation's largest health information network. By providing information for routine, recurring and emergency care, Surescripts is committed to saving lives, improving efficiency and reducing the cost of health care for all. For more information, go to www.surescripts.com and follow us at twitter.com/surescripts.

Press Contact:
Rob Cronin
(917) 414-5289
rob.cronin@surescripts.com


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