Health information network Surescripts has announced the launch of Sentinel™ which measures e-prescription accuracy to help patient safety and care quality. Sentinel will raise the bar for patient safety, care quality and workflow efficiency by pinpointing specific areas for improvement and providing analysis of electronic prescribing trends to inform better patient care.
With 70% of prescriptions being filled electronically, 1.5 billion on the Surescripts network annually, this monitoring capability should have great impact in the months ahead. Surescripts Sentinel links multiple data sources, including the Surescripts network, industry-wide drug compendia, such as First Databank, and the National Library of Medicine, to provide actionable intelligence that is accurate, scalable, timely and detailed. The information is used to validate ongoing data quality improvements; identify opportunities to improve process efficiency; track e-prescribing utilization to identify trends and patterns; and inform research, white papers and clinical information.
In developing Sentinel, Surescripts identified and validated 11 major pain points based on input from hundreds of prescribers, pharmacists, technology vendors, and drug compendia.These pain points include ensuring that prescriber intent and patient directions are clear and that standard drug descriptions match the identifiers. Surescripts developed action plans to address each of these pain points and established quality metrics to help track progress with ongoing quality improvements.
“Electronic prescribing helps deliver patient benefit information across care settings and helps prescribers make safer, more cost-effective care decisions,” said Troyen Brennan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at CVS Health in a statement. “Sentinel will provide improved accuracy monitoring that will benefit prescribers, pharmacists and patients.”
E-prescribing has been shown to improve medication safety and adherence, which reduces hospital readmissions, cuts costs, and improves patient care. But, the increasing volume and complexity of e-prescribing means that inefficiencies and errors can have a significant impact on the speed and accuracy of e-prescriptions, including manual handling by pharmacists, phone calls back to physicians, faxes sent back and forth, and disgruntled patients who are forced to wait for prescriptions to be filled. Surescripts has found that two-thirds of all data in an e-prescription is unstructured free-text, and as many as 10 percent of e-prescriptions still require some type of extra, manual handling, such as phone calls between pharmacists and prescribers.