Rite Aid Corp. plans to leverage the Surescripts Network for Clinical Interoperability to electronically deliver patient immunization notifications directly to health care providers.

Rite Aid, Surescripts, Surescripts Network for Clinical Interoperability, patient immunization notifications, electronic health records, EHR, pharmacies, health care providers, Dan Miller, Rite Aid pharmacists, Harry Totonis, clinical interoperability

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Surescripts, Rite Aid partner on EHR delivery

December 6th, 2012

ARLINGTON, VA and CAMP HILL, PA – Rite Aid Corp. plans to leverage the Surescripts Network for Clinical Interoperability to electronically deliver patient immunization notifications directly to health care providers.

The companies said Thursday in the coming weeks, Rite Aid's 4,600-plus pharmacies nationwide will be able to use the Surescripts clinical interoperability network to send a digital notification of patients' vaccinations to their health provider in whatever form the provider can best receive it, including electronically or via fax or mail.

Pharmacies and health care providers also will have a more coordinated way to share updates on delivered care and documentation related to immunization. The network, too, provides guaranteed delivery assurance through the Surescripts Physician Notification Letter (PNL) for Immunizations.

In the near future, Rite Aid pharmacies will also be able to use the Surescripts network to send immunization reports to state and regional public health registries where there's a mandatory or voluntary reporting requirement, the companies said.

"Today's patients are taking on a greater role in their health and are putting more of a focus on preventative care than ever before," Dan Miller, senior vice president of pharmacy operations at Rite Aid, said in a statement. "Immunizations are an important part of preventative care, and that's why we've trained all Rite Aid pharmacists to be able to provide immunizations as allowed by the state. By working with Surescripts, we can improve and enhance the way we communicate with other health care providers on our immunization services, ultimately leading to improved patient care and health outcomes."

Besides improving the coordination of care, the Surescripts interop network provides timely notification, which is critical because health care providers have more comprehensive medical histories can have more thorough health care conversations with their patients, Surescripts and Rite Aid noted.

"Pharmacists continue to play a critical role on a patient's health care team. At Surescripts, we are committed to supporting and enhancing the delivery of valuable clinical care information directly to care providers. By way of the Surescripts network, it will be easier for Rite Aid pharmacists to provide much needed care delivery information, such as immunizations, to other members of a patient's health care team," stated Harry Totonis, president and chief executive officer of Surescripts. "The Physician Notification Letter for Immunizations is yet another step forward in our mission to enable more efficient care coordination and improved patient safety."

According to Surescripts, clinical interoperability is seen as the next key step in driving the digital transformation of the nation's health care system. The advance of clinical interoperability plays an integral role in a variety of national health initiatives, including improving continuity of care, supporting the "meaningful use" of electronic health records (EHRs), and fostering the patient-centered medical home model of care, as well as accountable care.

The Surescripts Network for Clinical Interoperability, currently being used by leading health systems and other providers nationwide, allows clinical care information — such as clinical messages, immunization summaries, CCDs, referrals, discharge summaries and lab results — to be immediately transmitted between peers, practices and health systems locally and nationally across all technology platforms.

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