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Surescripts intros next generation of patient matching

The company shared plans to improve more patient and provider experiences across a number of solutions.

Surescripts recently introduced new innovations in patient matching through its master patient index, which the company said will improve more patient and provider experiences across a number of solutions, including eligibility and formulary, electronic prior authorization, medication history, Real-Time Prescription Benefit, and record locator and exchange.

"In the past two years, there have been dramatic shifts in employment, people's locations, insurance coverage, health conditions, behavioral needs, and more," said Tom Skelton, CEO of Surescripts. "With new enhancements to our master patient index, we can address more of these increasingly complex societal and demographic changes and give providers and care managers more accurate insights into a patient's care and medication history.”

Since 2001, the Surescripts master patient index has relied on a proprietary matching algorithm. Now, enhanced patient matching will supplement the algorithm with patient reference records, including demographic data such as name, name changes, date of birth, and current and prior addresses. As a result, Surescripts identified additional data for as many as 400,000 patients in one day and identified 2.2% more medications across all medication history responses in March 2022.

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An increased match rate means that more patients and their care providers can have an informed conversation when prescribing or dispensing medication based on patient-specific benefit information with less risk of manual transcription errors and unreported drugs. Additionally, improving the rate of effectively-matched patient clinical history also benefits care management, the company said.

"Surescripts is helping the industry respond positively to changing patient and care dynamics," said Andrew Mellin, vice president and chief medical information officer at Surescripts. "When a provider has a more comprehensive view of a patient's medication history, they are able to optimize the medication reconciliation process and have more informed conversations with patients, which improves patient safety and drives better patient outcomes.”

The Surescripts master patient index helps providers make timely and accurate care decisions with patient identity matches using secure patient information for more than 99% of American patients. It is fueled by an authorized patient and member information from Surescripts Network Alliance participants, including benefit plans, pharmacy benefit managers and pharmacies nationwide.

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In 2021, the Surescripts master patient index was used to inform more than 2 billion patient medication histories and nearly 36 million medication histories for patient populations. It also helped inform nearly 4 billion care events and as deliver more than 422 million Real-Time Prescription Benefit responses at the point of care, Surescripts said.

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