Electronic prescribing network company Surescripts says it intends to apply to become a Qualified Health Information Network (QHIN) as part of the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA), a 21st Century Cures Act requirement to create a “network of networks” for sharing health data across the country.
On Feb. 13, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announced the first six organizations approved as QHINs: CommonWell Health Alliance, eHealth Exchange, Health Gorilla, Konza, Epic Systems, and Kno2. At the time, Micky Tripathi, Ph.D., M.P.P., national coordinator for health IT, said the six QHINs had committed to begin exchanging data by the end of 2023.
"Surescripts has been an industry-leading example of interoperability for more than 20 years," said Tara Dragert, chief product officer at Surescripts, in a statement. "We support the goals of TEFCA and are committed to innovation that fundamentally changes the interoperability landscape to support healthcare professionals, patients and their families."
Arlington, Va.-based Surescripts connects more than 2 million healthcare professionals and organizations data on more than 99 percent of American patients. In 2022, Surescripts processed 21.7 billion health information transactions.
According to the company’s statistics, more than 250,000 clinicians across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. (27% more users than in 2021) used Surescripts Record Locator & Exchange to locate and exchange more than 100 million clinical documents each month—bringing the total number of clinical documents retrieved to more than 1 billion annually for the first time.
Surescripts said its Record Locator & Exchange, based on the HL7 FHIR standard, helps clinicians find and retrieve clinical documents exchanged via Carequality, a national, consensus-based interoperability framework that enables information exchange among health data sharing networks.
"The FHIR standard makes up a critical part of the Surescripts infrastructure and is already a core component of several of our solutions," said Mark Gingrich, chief information officer at Surescripts, in a statement. "We’re committed to moving the industry forward by helping to scale the adoption of the FHIR standard to meet the interoperability goals in the 21st Century Cures Act. It’s something we have championed for a long time through participation in HL7 accelerators, including the Argonaut Project, the DaVinci Project and FAST, and we intend to continue to champion as a QHIN."
The Surescripts Network Alliance includes nearly all EHR vendors, pharmacy benefit managers, pharmacies and clinicians, plus health plans, long-term and post-acute care organizations, specialty hubs and specialty pharmacy organizations.