ARLINGTON, Va. — Surescripts has expanded its nationwide health information network to include PointClickCare, a cloud-based software platform for the senior care market, to provide the more than 10,000 senior care facilities using PointClickCare access to electronic prescribing technology to fill gaps in care and reduce costs when patients move from one facility to another.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population aged 65 and older is projected to double by 2050. Currently, there are more than 2.5 million beds across skilled nursing and assisted living facilities — a number that will continue to rise dramatically as the population ages.
Exchanging prescription information electronically between prescribers and pharmacies improves accuracy and saves time, from reduced phone calls and faxes related to prescription renewal authorizations, as well as a reduced need for staff to enter prescription data manually. Connecting to the Surescripts network will also help PointClickCare users meet government-mandated transitions of care requirements, while allowing flexibility in choice of pharmacies and reducing the need for direct connections with pharmacies.
“A seamless, connected healthcare experience is an increasing expectation for patients and providers,” stated Tom Skelton, CEO, Surescripts. “Now that e-prescribing is nearly ubiquitous in hospitals and doctor’s offices, we see a huge opportunity to expand connectivity to ensure the long-term and post-acute care market also benefits from healthcare interoperability.”
Today, electronic prescribing is utilized by 95% of pharmacies and 7-out-of-10 office-based physicians. But the long-term care market lags behind the rest of healthcare in terms of technology adoption, with just 3% of prescriptions transmitted electronically. In November 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services lifted its electronic prescribing exemption for long-term care facilities, and now requires that they adhere to the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs SCRIPT standard for electronic prescribing.
Electronic prescribing reduces costs associated with medication non-adherence by helping ensure patients receive needed medication therapies. A 2012 study found that electronic prescribing increases first-fill medication adherence by 10% with the potential to save $140 billion to $240 billion over 10 years. Poor adherence to medication therapy is a significant and costly problem facing the U.S. healthcare system. According to the World Health Organization, 50% of patients do not adhere fully to their medication treatment, leading to 125,000 premature deaths and billions in preventable health care costs each year. Medication non-adherence also results in patient safety issues that cost the healthcare system an estimated $290 billion annually in the form of increased hospitalizations and costly complications, according to the New England Healthcare Institute.