ARLINGTON, VA--(Marketwire - Sep 6, 2012) - Surescripts today announced that Surescripts and Epic, a leading provider of electronic health records (EHRs), are working together to connect Epic's Care Everywhere interoperability platform to the Surescripts Clinical Interoperability Network. This connectivity will allow health care providers that use Epic's EHR to securely send and receive clinical information, including referrals, discharge summaries and lab results, with peers locally, between practices and across health systems, thereby improving communication and connectivity.
"Surescripts continues to be committed to enhancing our network, expanding our capabilities and enabling the flow of new types of health information to advance connectivity and enable diverse parties to work together. With our Clinical Interoperability Network, we are building on our success in e-prescribing to help deliver access to clinical information when and where it's needed," said Harry Totonis, president and CEO of Surescripts. "By working with Epic to connect to our Clinical Interoperability Network, we will enable broader health information sharing between thousands more care providers nationwide. Our goal is to connect the entire U.S. healthcare system to support improvements in care, safety, cost and health outcomes."
Clinical interoperability -- defined as a health care provider's ability to electronically share a patient's health information -- is viewed by experts as the next critical step to accelerate the digital transformation of the nation's health care system. The advance of clinical interoperability plays a central role in a number of important national health care initiatives, including improving continuity of care, supporting the "meaningful use" of electronic health records, and advancing the patient-centered medical home model of care as well as accountable care.
Epic's EHR is used by some of the largest and most prestigious hospitals and physician groups throughout the United States. By the year 2013, medical information for 150 million patients, representing nearly 44 percent of the U.S. population, will be stored in an Epic digital record. Through the collaboration, Epic clinicians will be able to seamlessly share health information with peers through a fast, secure messaging service. The service, powered by the Surescripts Clinical Interoperability Network, will allow patient-specific information to be instantaneously transmitted to other healthcare providers across all technology platforms.
Challenges of sharing information
A survey by Surescripts of 400 physicians illustrates the challenge of sharing clinical information: 55 percent of physicians report that important patient information always or frequently arrives after the patient visit. This statistic is perhaps not that surprising given that fax machines remain the most common mode of communication by far: 91 percent of doctors use fax machines to share information with other doctors, and 57 percent use the telephone. Electronic health records are tied with the U.S. Postal Service, at 53 percent.
Advantages of the Surescripts Clinical Interoperability Network
The Surescripts Clinical Interoperability Network supports all federal and state policies and standards for health information exchange, including privacy and security standards (such as HIPAA and state law), technology interoperability standards (such as Direct) and message types such as HL7 and CCDA. Additionally, the Surescripts Clinical Interoperability Network supports Meaningful Use Stages 1 and 2 with a physician directory, guaranteed delivery and use case support. The universal physician directory makes it easy to find and address clinicians with both Direct and Surescripts' network addresses, as well as non-electronic addresses.
The Surescripts network supports the most comprehensive ecosystem of health care 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.