Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Surescripts Clinical Data Exchange

Yesterday, Surescripts announced a national approach to sharing clinical summaries and public health data via its Clinical Interoperability Network:


Surescripts Network Accelerates Interoperability Between Physicians, Pharmacists and Take Care Health Providers by Making It Easier to Supply Information Often Missing During Patient Visits"

According to the release, 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 various message types.   The service is being rolled out to 500 hospital labs to connect to public health under a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is also being used by physicians for physician-to-physician communication and care coordination.

I asked for further details about the transport, content, and vocabulary standards they plan to use.   Here's their response:

"Currently, we’re delivering PDFs over a REST-based protocol or Direct - whatever manner we have connectivity. We’re also faxing and mailing while vendors work on their connectivity modules. We’re in the process of determining which profile in terms of CCD/CDA will be the easiest for most vendors to receive. We’re targeting implementation later this summer.

When we start reporting to state registries, we’ll be sending the records in the most modern standard the states are ready to implement. We hope to see the majority of registries stepped up to HL7 2.5.1, Release 1.3 and August 2011 CVX code sets. But if a state isn’t quite ready, we’ll connect to what they have and upgrade the transport/content when they’re ready."

Massachusetts and other HIEs are implementing Direct for the summary and public health transactions.   With State HIE and national Healthcare Information Service Providers like Surescripts, we'll connect every payer, provider, and patient in time for Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements.

1 comment:

Neil Kudler said...

Hi John,
Since you mention Surescripts, I feel compelled to post. While I applaud any efforts that Surescripts might make to improve patient care, your post is coincident with an email discussion I resumed with my EHR vendor yesterday regarding a deficiency in Surescripts' methods. I'm told that the ability of a prescriber to transmit a message to a pharmacy about changes to instructions or medication regimens is still not on their roadmap. This is an enormous patient safety as well as cost of care issue; I have been hearing of medication errors from my colleagues for almost three years, since we went live with eRx. Instead, I understand that Surescripts has chosen to prioritize the development of narcotic eRxing. If Surescripts is truly seeking to improve the flow of information, they ought to revisit the need for secure, closed loop prescriber-pharmacist communication.