COVID-19: Tips for Network Alliance Participants

Today, the entire healthcare system is focused on combating the COVID-19 pandemic. We take seriously our role in helping medical professionals better serve patients, and we know you too are committed to supporting them as you work to help patients and prevent further spread of the virus.

We’ve heard from many of you with questions and guidance on how to respond to the pandemic. Here are a few tips to help you.

  • SCRIPT Version 2017071: Technology resources have been dedicated to the ongoing emergency response and many health systems are prohibited from implementing any new IT upgrades or development work at this time. Given these dynamics and the need to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, we are establishing a new sunset date for SCRIPT Version 10.6, and we will extend our translation services accordingly. Explore our FAQs to learn more.

  • Use new diagnosis codes in COVID-related e-prescriptions: NCPDP recommends that all e-prescriptions contain diagnosis codes, and the CDC recently announced new ICD-10-CM codes for COVID-19. Prescriber system vendors should ensure that the proper codes have been added to their systems and prescribers should apply the codes appropriately.

  • Replace phone/fax with automated tools Prescribers are encouraged to use automated tools, such as Electronic Prior Authorization and Clinical Direct Messaging, to communicate with pharmacies, PBMs and health plans, as call centers may be experiencing extended wait times. As a reminder, Surescripts Prior Authorization Portal is a free, online way to easily submit electronic prior authorization requests, even if the service is not yet available in their EHR.

  • Keep directories up-to-date: Surescripts is always working to ensure our pharmacy and provider directories are updated with current information regarding closures or limited hours of operation. This information is available to providers who need to treat patients. Follow our Emergency Response Action Plans to help minimize disruption for providers and patients if you are offline during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Utilize telehealth technology: Virtual care and remote monitoring using telehealth technology is critical to maintaining social distancing practices in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal officials have eased some of the restrictions and expanded benefits for telehealth, enabling more providers to implement the technology. Prescribers in many states can leverage Surescripts tools like E-Prescribing, Medication History and Clinical Direct Messaging through their telehealth vendor. Visit the American Telemedicine Association to learn more about available telehealth services.

  • Leverage tech to manage drug shortages: The FDA is taking action to manage potential drug shortages. If an existing medication isn’t available, prescribers can use Real-Time Prescription Benefit to find an affordable, available alternative for their patients at the point of prescribing. Pharmacies can send RxChange requests to prescribers letting them know a medication is out of stock, and prescribers can respond and note any changes for the pharmacy.

  • Enable secure messaging between care teams: EHRs offer a number of tools that can help optimize clinical management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Secure messaging, like Surescripts Clinical Direct Messaging, is one feature prescribers, pharmacists and specialty hubs can use to communicate with others while supporting clinical care. Clinical Direct Messaging can also transmit electronic case records (eCRs) for COVID-19 diagnoses to public health agencies.

  • Deliver tech tools for LTPAC providers: The spread of the coronavirus in nursing homes and assisted living facilities highlights the threat these communities face from the illness. As they look for ways to treat more patients and reduce administrative work, long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) providers can leverage a number of tools like E-Prescribing, Medication History, Record Locator & Exchange, and Clinical Direct Messaging through their EHR vendor.


If you have additional questions, please contact your
Account Manager or Customer Support.