(Last Updated On: September 5, 2017)

Released by Surescripts on 8/25/16

Surescripts has identified incidences in which network prescribers have sent “test” NewRx e-prescriptions in the live production environment to pharmacies. In all of these instances, prescribers did not actually intend for the pharmacy to dispense the prescribed medication orders. It is important to note that significant potential risks may arise if pharmacies dispense such “test” prescription orders. Pharmacies may not be able to discern the prescriber’s intent for a “test” order that was sent for the sole purpose of determining the insurance coverage versus an intended fillable prescription. The result can be an adverse event that directly affects patient safety. For example, a patient may be inadvertently placed on two anticoagulants such as apixaban and warfarin for several days before the dispensing error is detected.

Please be advised that the transmission of such “test” e-prescription orders is a violation of Surescripts network requirements established in both the contracts signed by network participants and the Network Operations Guide (NOG). Thus, the transmission of “test” e-prescriptions can result in not only severe patient safety consequences, but also Surescripts Compliance cases being opened to the original EHR vendor system, and in extreme cases, even the temporary suspension of an entire EHR vendor system from the Surescripts network as well.

Call to Action: To improve patient safety and support adherence to correct e-prescribing practices:

EHR vendors and their end-users must ensure that no “test” e-prescriptions are sent in the live environment. Prescribers should only transmit e-prescriptions that are actually intended for the pharmacist to dispense to the patient;

EHR system vendors should engage with prescribers and provide additional training to correct any inappropriate prescribing behaviors;

Pharmacists and pharmacy system vendors should remain vigilant and continue reporting and logging Support cases with Surescripts through their usual protocols for instances when they identify or suspect the receipt of “test” e-prescriptions;

Network participants should follow the e-prescribing best-practice recommendations and guidance provided in the Surescripts Quality Guidelines.


For additional information or to learn more about the Surescripts Quality Management Program please contact Surescripts Quality Management at quality@surescripts.com.

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