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Surescripts to Offer EHR Vendors Free Use of Record Locator Service until 2019

September 20, 2016
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Surescripts, the Arlington, Va.-based operator of a national clinical electronic network, has announced that it will offer electronic health records (EHR) software vendors free access to its National Record Locator Service (NRLS) until 2019.

The company said in a Sept. 20 press release that a number of big EHR vendors, including Aprima, eClinicalWorks (eCW), Epic, Greenway Health, and NextGen Healthcare have already agreed to offer the capability to their users. The idea behind the NRLS is to provide care teams with access to a more complete picture of a patient’s care history regardless of where care was delivered and through any EHR vendor. As a result, providers can look to quickly and efficiently identify and share patient records within existing workflows, so they can deliver more informed care.

Surescripts operates within the nationwide Carequality Interoperability Framework that leverages a common set of legal, technical and policy rules for data sharing across technology platforms and networks. Surescripts NRLS went live this year with 140 million patients and more than 2 billion interactions between those patients and members of their care teams. And, a recent announcement from Carequality revealed that more than 3,000 clinics and 200 hospitals are live on Carequality and capable of sharing health data.

“We’re very pleased to see that the Carequality Framework is able to advance the work of services like the Surescripts NRLS and to aide in its adoption by so many participants,” Dave Cassel, director of Carequality, an initiative of the Sequoia Project, said in a prepared statement. “A big part of our mission is providing the ecosystem in which different services can flourish, all doing their part to ensure that critical health information is securely available, whenever and wherever needed.”

The ability to locate and exchange patient records with NRLS combined with Surescripts’ network capabilities and access to high quality data will aim to enable more sophisticated and valuable clinical information exchange with the addition of new services in 2017, Surescripts officials said. These new network services, including care alerts, will provide a unique view into patient care over time, across multiple locations and between different EHR systems.

“We hear from clinicians every day who complain that the data they need to deliver quality care to patients is trapped in manual systems,” said Neil Simon, chief operating officer of Aprima. “We are excited to bring these capabilities to life for our providers, so they can focus on what matters most— their patients.”

Carl Dvorak, president of Epic, added in a statement, ““Our customers have already seen increases in record location using Surescripts NRLS,” said Carl Dvorak, President of Epic. “A free NRLS could be a game changer to expand and accelerate vendor-neutral search—a big win for patient care nationwide and providers preparing for the reality of the post-reform environment.”

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