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Readers Write: The Interoperability Revolution Continues

December 11, 2023 Readers Write 1 Comment

The Interoperability Revolution Continues
By Mark Gingrich

Mark Gingrich, MS is chief information officer of Surescripts of Arlington, VA.


Remember when you would leave your doctor’s office with a handwritten paper prescription, and then need to bring it to the local pharmacy to be filled? Hard to believe that was the norm just two decades ago.

The height of innovation was swapping out this piece of paper for an electronic transaction. It was a simple enough concept, but the impacts have turned out to be profound. Electronic prescribing helped revolutionize how care providers and patients shared information, making prescribing safer and faster and connecting prescribers and pharmacists like never before.

Now, 60,000 pharmacies are connected and 2 billion prescriptions were filled using this technology in 2022 alone. E-prescribing serves as the basis for what we now consider healthcare interoperability, but the scale of healthcare interoperability advances every day. Our company, through subsidiary Surescripts Health Information Network LLC, has submitted its application to become a Qualified Health Information Network (QHIN) under the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement.

But what does healthcare interoperability mean for patients and clinicians? The definition can be something different depending on the stakeholder, yet the definition is far less important than the impact that healthcare interoperability has had and will continue to have in transforming patient care.

The impact is seen when clinicians have the right patient information, such as medication history and clinical documents, at their fingertips, at the right time, and can provide safer, better informed, and less-costly care for their patients. This means stronger, trusted relationships between patients and care providers.

Our company’s master patient index makes it possible for health information for nearly every patient to be accessible by 2 million care providers. Interoperability means connecting 250,000 clinicians across all 50 states and Washington, DC to access 100 million clinical documents each month in 2022, delivering the information they need to care for their patients in the most meaningful way possible. Applying to become a QHIN is the next step towards amplifying our impact in ensuring that care providers can quickly and easily access the information that they need to provide safe, quality, and lower-cost care for their patients.

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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Wow, this brings me back! 20 years ago, I was contracted by a major pharma to look at the emerging “ePrescribing” space. We profiles something like 20 companies, from epocrates (on PalmPilot!) to Athena. It was a few months later that RxHUB was created. Ah, memories. Got to say – we got it right. We predicted than only two of the profiled companies would survive 5 years and precisely those two did survive.

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