Supporting Pharmacy Data Interoperability: An Imperative for Patient Access and Outcomes
Pharmacy provision of clinical services is important to patient access and outcomes. As patients access more services from pharmacies, the data interoperability of those pharmacies becomes more important to the healthcare system at-large. Pharmacy teams’ ability to provide optimal care and meaningfully contribute to the value-based care transformation depends on their ability to access and contribute to patients’ clinical records, just as hospitals, clinics, labs, and other providers need to know the information stored in pharmacies’ systems if they are to appropriately serve their patients.
In this report, Leavitt Partners studies progress to date and remaining challenges in improving data interoperability for pharmacies, as well as measures that could help close the data interoperability gap for pharmacies. We summarize our findings and note that important progress toward pharmacy data interoperability includes use of clinical documentation systems, increased data sharing during the COVID-19 pandemic, state health information exchanges (HIEs), the Pharmacist eCare Plan, vaccination registries, prescription drug monitoring programs. and standardized data application programming interfaces (APIs). Useful as they are, we find that these tools are insufficient and incompletely implemented. Opportunities exist to address these gaps and promote broader pharmacy data interoperability that elevates the effectiveness and efficiency of the healthcare system.
This report recommends steps that federal and state policymakers, technology and electronic health record (EHR) companies, health plans, pharmacies, and other healthcare providers can take to strengthen pharmacy data interoperability.