Surescripts launches patient record locator service

Surescripts is taking a new step to increase interoperability, implementing its national record locator service with vendors Epic, eClinicalWorks and Greenway Health to locate patients' electronic records stored in any health care location.

According to Surescripts' April 13 announcement, the locator service is a federated query and response solution that integrates through a provider's existing EHR software to give providers a "fast and easy" way to obtain a more complete view of a patient's health history without having to rely on a patient's memory and risk missing pertinent medical information. The service, called a "first of its kind capability," leverages Surescripts' network and master patient index of more than 230 million patients and is expected to improve care and lower costs, the announcement says.     

"Today marks a major milestone in our collective effort to connect the nation's healthcare system and enable interoperability between disparate parts of our healthcare community," Tom Skelton, chief executive officer at Surescripts, says in the announcement. "By leveraging the assets and existing infrastructure we built for e-prescribing, we are able to quickly scale true interoperability on a national basis to save time and money, and ultimately improve the patient experience."

Surescripts is implementing its locator service via Carequality's Trust Principles, its framework for improving data exchange, which includes HIPAA compliance, transparency of information handling and cooperation among members. Carequality is an initiative that was introduced by Healtheway in 2014.

Surescripts will also participate in Carequality's rollout of its inter-network information exchange, also announced April 13. Epic, Greenway, eClinicalWorks, Kaiser Permanente and Intermountain Healthcare are among others involved in the initial rollout.

Interoperability is seeing a huge push in the healthcare industry, with many organizations working to reduce barriers to sharing of information. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT issued a report April 10 pointing to the need for more data sharing and putting much of the blame on providers and vendors for information blocking.

To learn more:
- here's the announcement