Magazine article Drug Topics

SureScript Revving Up for M.D.-Pharmacy Connectivity

Magazine article Drug Topics

SureScript Revving Up for M.D.-Pharmacy Connectivity

Article excerpt

TECHNOLOGY

SureScript Systems is ready to start signing up clients for the fall launch of its electronic link between physicians and pharmacists. The next couple of months will find SureScript announcing contracts with healthcare technology vendors serving physicians and pharmacies, according to the firm's new CEO, Kevin Hutchinson.

Getting such agreements in place will start the engine running on the Alexandria, Va., firm's electronic connectivity initiative being marketed to technology firms that serve physician offices and pharmacies. "We've been in conversations with the top 20 vendors on the physician side," Hutchinson said. "They understand that the value SureScript brings to the table is connectivity to the pharmacy, which is something no one has pulled off yet Our product is right on track for limited release this fall and on a wider scale the first quarter of next year. So the message is not, `Hang on, it's coming,' The message is, 'Hang on, it's here.'"

Moving Rx renewals through the e-pipeline faster and more efficiently is SureScript's initial focus, said Hutchinson, who is an e-healthcare veteran, including stints as COO of Medscape and as a v.p. at VHA Inc. He noted that pharmacists waste up to four hours a day playing telephone tag with prescribers, and physician office staffers waste up to two hours per day trying to track down the pharmacist. He believes e-connectivity will significantly reduce frustration on both sides of the Rx renewal process.

"We're not trying to be an end-toend solution by providing applications on the physician side and applications on the pharmacy side," Hutchinson continued. "We're simply going to be the connectivity between the two, regardless of what applications they use. We spent a little over a year creating and building our electronic prescribing engine on an open but secure framework."

Also on SureScript's to-do list is forging closer ties to physician and patient safety groups dedicated to improving the quality of health care. "Even more important than operational efficiency is the patient safety issue," Hutchinson said. "SureScript means more legible scripts, dosage information, and not so much confusion over soundalike medications-all of which improves on medication errors."

One core question SureScript has yet to finalize is its financial model. There will be a per-transaction fee, but there will be various models depending on the distribution channel, Hutchinson said. …

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