Patient Safety Alert: Update: Surescripts: Potential Inaccurate Medication History Data

Dear Valued Clients:

This is an important follow-up patient safety message impacting a subset of gGastro® clients. We are writing to inform you that Surescripts has provided an update regarding an issue it initially reported in September 2021 and October 2021, involving possible inaccurate medication history data sent from three pharmacy data sources.

Surescripts previously determined that some medication history response messages sent from three pharmacy data sources may have contained inaccurate medication history instructions as a result of missing characters, slash (‘ / ’) and dash (‘ – ‘).

Update: Surescripts Actions: In October 2021 and November 2021, two of the three pharmacy data sources corrected the missing characters issue for medications moving forward. In December 2021, Surescripts implemented an update to resume sending SIG data from these two pharmacy data sources for medication records received after the correction dates. Surescripts continues to work with these two pharmacy data sources to correct SIG data for the prior 12 months.

In January 2022, the third pharmacy data source implemented a fix for medications moving forward and for the prior 12 months. Surescripts has resumed sending SIG data for this pharmacy.

Surescripts is taking this situation very seriously. It has informed us that it is not aware of any harm to any patient as a result of this issue, and that no protected health information (PHI) was exposed.

Surescripts has stated that the start date of this issue is unknown. Beginning on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, Surescripts began removing the SIG field in the Medication History response messages from the pharmacy data sources.

Issue Description:
In the examples Surescripts reviewed, some instructions fields did not contain appropriate slash or dash characters, resulting in the incorrect display of data.
For example, “Take 1 2 tablets by mouth at bedtime” was displayed instead of “Take 1-2 tablets by mouth at bedtime,” or “Take 1 & 1 2 tablets by mouth once a day” could be displayed instead of “Take 1 & 1/2 tablets by mouth once a day.”

To emphasize, this issue impacted response messages for requested medication history data, and did NOT impact transmitted prescriptions.

ModMed is providing you this notification for transparency. No corrective action is required; however, if you are interested in receiving a detailed list of impacted patients identified by Surescripts, please contact our Support Team.

As always, ModMed recommends that you verify medication quantities and all other prescription information with your patients during the medication reconciliation process.


The ModMed Gastroenterology Team



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