To meet new standards as required by Surescripts, we have used this opportunity to create new features in our ePrescribing capabilities. All OP Practices will be moved to the new script standard before the end of August 2021. Please take this opportunity to review what has changed and why providers need to know.
What has happened and why?
For all of our Providers to send electronic prescriptions, search for pharmacies, or look for drug-allergy interactions, OP must be certified according to the most recent standard. Our partner, Surescripts, is transitioning to this new standard for all ePrescribe transactions in accordance with the ONC’s regulatory deadline for this. To ensure that all OP practices meet this deadline, you must upgrade your OP system to Version 20.13 by July 31, 2021. All Cloud Practices have been updated effective July 19, 2021. On-premise Practices who have not taken build OP 20.13 yet, please do so promptly. Otherwise, you will not be able to search medication names, send electronic prescriptions or participate in any of the electronic connections regarding medications and prescribing starting August 1st, 2021. Click here to see Surescripts FAQs related to the new Script Standard.
As a provider, what will be different for me?
- Automated Pharmacy Updates: Pharmacies that have been previously used will now be automatically updated behind the scenes, removing the need to manually update Pharmacy details or inactivate the Pharmacy when Surescripts Pharmacy Directory information is updated. This occurs when the Pharmacy ID in OP matches the Surescripts master list and would update phone number, fax, or other modified information. If the Pharmacy ID changes to a new one (as in a merger for example), then that Pharmacy in OP would be inactivated and the user would need to search for and add the new Pharmacy name.
- Medication List Medication Record Status: Users sometimes chose a medication status that was intended to be from the Pharmacy only and then could not further edit the prescription. Pharmacy-generated statuses such as “Rx cancelled” can no longer be mistakenly chosen by a user.
- Refill Requests: Refill requests coming from the Pharmacy can now be responded to by a new message type response, “Replace”, which allows the user to respond to a request that is addressed to a different Provider if the Provider is filling in. “Replace” also allows the user to change any information associated with the drug and respond to the Pharmacy. This eliminates the “Deny New Prescription To Follow” workflow, which will no longer be available. With the new standard, only prescribers can accept refill requests, while proxy prescribers are limited to denials of a refill request. This is meant to improve patient safety where medication changes may be necessary for changes in a patient’s clinical status.
- Prescription Dispense Status: Now prescribers can subscribe to prescription dispense status per prescription, allowing Pharmacies to send statuses such as “dispensed”, “partially dispensed”, or “not dispensed”. This allows you to monitor individual key prescriptions and statuses that you want to track to improve visibility and more transparently monitor when medications are dispensed to patients. This is a new message type that OP staff will need to activate with Surescripts per prescriber to utilize. For patient safety and uniform workflows, all Providers in the same Practice must agree to enable this at the same time.
- Change Requests: Change Requests coming from the Pharmacy can now be responded to electronically reducing fax and phone calls between the Pharmacy and the Practice. Pharmacies can now send Script clarifications, Script changes, Generic Substitutions, Therapeutic Alternatives via electronic means for the prescriber to respond to. This is a new message type that OP staff will need to activate with Surescripts per prescriber to utilize. For patient safety and uniform workflows, all Providers in the same Practice must agree to enable this at the same time.
Deadline and Action Required for On-Premise Practice
The ONC has issued a regulatory deadline on this mandatory transition, and to ensure that all OP practices meet this deadline, you must upgrade your OP system to OP Version 20.13 by July 31, 2021. Otherwise, you will not be able to prescribe starting August 1st, 2021.