Cerner, CVS, Surescripts push for wider adoption of e-prescriptions

Surescripts, an e-prescription network, is working with healthcare companies such as Cerner and CVS to push more physicians to use electronic prescription software.

Approximately 70 percent of physicians were using an EHR on the Surescripts network to prescribe electronically, and nine out of ten pharmacies in the U.S. were able to take electronic prescriptions by April 2014, according to the ONC. Electronic prescriptions are legal in 48 states and the District of Columbia, and legislation is pending in Montana and Missouri to make it legal by the end of 2015, according to a Surescripts news release.

Surescripts has released a series of guides and tools to teach physicians how to write e-prescriptions, how to check whether the practice's EHR software is certified, how to obtain identity proofing and how to set security measures to control access, according to the news release. Josh Flum, senior vice president of retail pharmacy at CVS Health, praised the effort and promised to educate CVS pharmacists on how to combat prescription drug abuse.

"It's important that we take steps as an industry to enable the flow of information about prescribing patterns for controlled substances to help manage fraud and abuse," said Bob Robke, vice president for interoperability strategies and solutions at Cerner, in the news release. "Creating an interoperable network for providers and pharmacies to share this information gets us one step closer to breaking down interoperability barriers across all of healthcare."

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