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Surescripts touts adoption of its direct messaging capabilities amid COVID-19 vaccination efforts

Since December 2020, the company said pharmacies have used the technology to send more than 7 million COVID-19 immunization notifications to primary care providers nationwide. 
Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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Surescripts is highlighting the wide adoption of its Surescripts Clinical Direct Messaging. Since December 2020, the company said pharmacies — including such chains as CVS Pharmacy and Albertsons — have used the technology to send more than 7 million COVID-19 immunization notifications to primary care providers nationwide. 

"Participants across the Surescripts Network Alliance continue to find innovative ways to leverage existing technology to answer the nation’s call for help with COVID-19," said Tom Skelton, CEO of Surescripts. "The increased adoption of interoperable technology like Clinical Direct Messaging helps facilitate the seamless and secure exchange of patient health information, delivering actionable patient intelligence when and where it’s needed most.”

Built using the Direct Standard and integrated into EHR and pharmacy software, Surescripts Clinical Direct Messaging enables communication between clinicians, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals with a secure, HIPAA-compliant platform for sharing protected health information. In 2020, Surescripts said more than 745,000 individuals and organizations used Surescripts Clinical Direct Messaging to improve transitions of care, send immunization notifications, coordinate medication management efforts and achieve federal incentives requiring the use of secure electronic messaging.

“We are committed to our customers and communities to deliver timely healthcare solutions, including administering COVID-19 vaccinations. We have administered over 5.5 million COVID-19 doses and used Surescripts direct messaging service to report many of them to our customers’ primary care providers,” said Omer Gajial, Albertsons senior vice president of pharmacy and health. ”We encourage customers to visit our pharmacies for their COVID-19 vaccination and other health issues, knowing we have solutions like Surescripts in place to help in their wellness journey.”

This use of the capability by pharmacies is adding to the various uses for Surescripts' offering, the company said. Since February 2020, 41 health systems have leveraged Surescripts Clinical Direct Messaging to send more than 12 million electronic case reports for COVID-19 diagnoses to public health agencies across 64 jurisdictions nationwide. Other popular use cases include sending referral and consultation notes, addressing controlled substance abuse and implementing collaborative practice agreements.

“It’s clear that innovation and interoperability have accelerated as care providers nationwide battled the pandemic,” said Scott Stuewe, president and CEO of DirectTrust, the alliance responsible for the security and trust framework enabling the robust Direct Secure Messaging network. “The Direct Standard has been put to the test and is helping expand interoperability to fulfill the potential of care management and value-based care programs, bringing timely and secure patient insights into focus for clinicians and organizations across the country.”