Surescripts, the Arlington, Va.-based operator of a national clinical electronic network, has said that it processed 9.7 billion secure health data transactions in 2015—a 48 percent increase over 2014—according to data in the company’s 2015 National Progress Report.
Last year, the Surescripts network connected more than 1 million healthcare professionals and provided access to information on more than 240 million patients. Additionally in 2015, 77 percent of all prescriptions were digital—up from 67 percent in 2014, and 58 percent in 2013— as more doctors replaced the paper prescription pad with e-prescribing.
Adding some perspective, with that average of 3.8 million electronic prescriptions in the U.S. each day in 2015, Surescripts surpassed the daily number of Amazon packages shipped (1.4 million) and Uber rides taken (2 million) worldwide, according to its officials.
The report showed that that healthcare providers are increasingly using technology that’s connected to the Surescripts network to securely exchange clinical data. Last year, the Surescripts network processed 1.4 billion electronic prescriptions, 1.05 billion medication histories and 15.3 million clinical messages, indicating growth in secure access to and sharing of patient health information between doctors, pharmacists, hospitals and health plans.
The number of providers enabled to use electronic prescribing of controlled substances increased 359 percent in 2015, resulting in a more than 600 percent increase in e-prescriptions for critical medications that require greater security and scrutiny to prevent fraud and abuse. Further, since 2010, the number of medication histories processed by Surescripts more than quadrupled, potentially saving hospitals more than $400 million, and helping to prevent more than 25,000 patient readmissions and more than 15,000 adverse drug events in 2015 alone, officials said.
Also in 2015, Surescripts continued to expand its network capabilities and connections. The company entered new and underserved markets like long-term and post-acute care, and enabled in-demand functionality like electronic prior authorization and patient record sharing. Surescripts is in the early adopter phase of its National Record Locator Service, which gives providers a fast and easy way to locate and exchange patient records.
“The benefits of interoperability are made more and more clear as the Surescripts network continues to expand with new connections, new capabilities and new markets,” Tom Skelton, CEO, Surescripts, said in a statement. “Our network brings together pharmacists, doctors, hospitals and payers who are embracing trusted technology and sharing health information on a much wider scale, driving increased efficiency and cost savings—but most importantly, improving the quality of patient care.”