SOURCE: Surescripts


March 02, 2010 09:53 ET

Surescripts Reports E-Prescription Use Jumped 181 Percent in 2009 to 190 Million

According to Latest National Progress Report on E-Prescribing, 18 Percent of Prescriptions Now Being Sent Electronically; E-Prescribing Used by One in Four Prescribers

ALEXANDRIA, VA and ST. PAUL, MN--(Marketwire - March 2, 2010) -   Surescripts, The Nation's E-Prescription Network, today announced the release of its 2009 National Progress Report on E-Prescribing. The report, "Advancing Healthcare in America," is the third in an annual series that tracks the status of e-prescribing adoption and use in the United States. The report measures the growth of e-prescribing from 2007 through 2009 across a number of categories. Highlights include:

  • Prescription Benefit Information: The number of electronic requests for prescription benefit information more than tripled, from 79 million in 2008 to 303 million in 2009.
  • Prescription History Information: The number of prescription histories delivered to prescribers grew more than five-fold, from 16 million in 2008 to 81 million in 2009.
  • Prescriptions: By the end of 2009, approximately 18 percent of eligible prescriptions were prescribed electronically compared with just 6.6 percent at the end of 2008. The number of prescriptions routed electronically grew from 68 million in 2008 to 191 million in 2009.
  • Prescribers: The number of prescribers routing prescriptions electronically grew from 74,000 at the end of 2008 to 156,000 by the end of 2009 -- representing 25 percent of all office-based prescribers.
  • Pharmacies: At the end of 2009, approximately 85 percent of community pharmacies and six of the largest mail-order pharmacies in the United States were able to receive prescriptions electronically.

"For e-prescription use to jump from 6 to 18 percent in one year indicates several things," said Harry Totonis, president and CEO of Surescripts. "First, that the federal government's leadership and incentive structures are working. Second, that the benefits of e-prescribing -- including increased safety, lower costs and increased efficiency -- are widely understood. And last, that the nation's experience with e-prescribing -- in building the network and the ecosystem to support it -- provides a definitive road map for how to drive adoption of a broader electronic health record for all Americans."

The report provides further details and analysis of what is driving the growth of e-prescribing as well as what is required to continue that growth. For a downloadable copy of the National Progress Report on E-Prescribing, go to

Profiles in Innovation, a Focus on Quality
New to this year's report is a section highlighting the efforts of the Rhode Island Department of Health, MinuteClinic and others. The profiles reveal how these organizations are using the Surescripts network to create innovative approaches to improving the quality of health care through the secure sharing of health information.

The report also features a discussion with Surescripts Chief Quality Officer David Yakimischak. Yakimischak details how Surescripts' focus on quality is setting the standard in health information exchange by aiming to achieve 100 percent reliability of e-prescribing -- from the time a prescription is first prepared by a prescriber to the time the medication is dispensed and at all points in between.

About Surescripts
Surescripts operates the nation's largest e-prescription network and supports a rapidly expanding ecosystem of health care organizations nationwide. Surescripts was founded on the principles of neutrality, transparency, interoperability, efficiency, collaboration and quality. Surescripts connects prescribers in all 50 states through their choice of e-prescribing software to the nation's leading payers, chain pharmacies and independent pharmacies. Available during emergencies or routine care, The Nation's E-Prescription Network gives health care providers secure, low-cost, electronic access to prescription and health information that can save their patients' lives, improve efficiency and reduce the cost of health care for all. For more information, go to

Contact Information