Joe Tuan
Joe Tuan
Founder, Topflight Apps
March 12, 2024

In the dynamic landscape of healthcare IT, Surescripts integration stands as a game-changer. It revolutionizes the way data is exchanged across different platforms, making healthcare delivery more efficient and accurate. By integrating Surescripts into your custom EHR system or healthcare app, you unlock a world of possibilities, from streamlining workflows to improving patient outcomes.


Top Takeaways

  1. Elevate Healthcare Efficiency: When you integrate Surescripts into custom EHRs, you tap into a network that connects clinicians, pharmacists, and prescribers. This seamless connection facilitates quick and secure data exchange, reducing administrative tasks and leaving more room for patient care.
  2. Optimize Outcomes: Integrating with Surescripts is not just about efficiency; it’s also about enhancing patient outcomes. With its robust health information exchange features, Surescripts provides clinicians real-time access to critical patient information, enabling them to make informed decisions that lead to improved health outcomes.
  3. Secure Data Transmission: Surescripts integration means your data transmission adheres to the highest security standards. As part of a trusted network, you can be assured of HIPAA-compliant data exchange, safeguarding sensitive patient information while reaping the benefits of seamless integration.


Table of Contents

  1. What Is Surescripts?
  2. Why Does Your Healthcare App Need Surescripts Integration?
  3. Understanding Key Surescripts Features
  4. Overview of Surescripts APIs and Integration Options
  5. Considerations Before Starting Surescripts Integration
  6. Steps to Implement Surescripts Integration
  7. Adhering to Surescripts and NCPDP Standards for Successful Integration
  8. DoseSpot: A Shortcut to Surescripts Integration?
  9. How Much Does Surescripts Integration Cost?
  10. Potential Challenges and How to Overcome Them in Surescripts Integration


What Is Surescripts?

Surescripts is a leading health information network in the United States, connecting healthcare organizations, pharmacies, and technology providers to facilitate the secure exchange of health information primarily around e-prescribing. The platform is highly trusted for its robust set of features and ease of integration.

surescripts integration mobile app idea

Here’s a snapshot of what Surescripts brings to the table:

  • Nationwide Reach: The platform connects over 1.6 million healthcare professionals across all 50 states. This massive reach makes it an essential tool for any healthcare app looking to streamline patient care and data management.
  • Comprehensive Health Information Exchange: It offers a suite of solutions that enable electronic prescribing, sharing of clinical information, patient medication history access, and more. Such extensive data exchange capabilities can significantly enhance the functionality of your healthcare app.
  • Integration with Electronic Health Records (EHR): Surescripts integrates seamlessly with EHR systems, making data sharing and management much more streamlined.
  • Secure Data Transmission: You can be assured of secure, HIPAA-compliant data transmission. This is crucial for maintaining patient trust and adhering to regulatory requirements.
  • Real-Time Access to Information: Surescripts provides real-time access to critical health information, which can improve decision-making and patient outcomes.

If you’re pondering the inclusion of an e-prescription feature in your mobile app, telehealth platform, or any other digital healthcare solution, integrating with Surescripts will definitely pop on your radar. In fact, e-prescribing into a medical mobile app integration is a trend that’s revolutionizing the healthcare industry, making prescription management more efficient for both providers and patients.

Why Does Your Healthcare App Need Surescripts Integration?

In an era where digital transformation is driving the healthcare industry, the need to integrate Surescripts into custom EHR applications or off-the-shelf healthcare solutions has never been more critical. Here are a few benefits of integrating with Surescripts:

Better Treatment Decisions

A Surescripts integration facilitates data sharing that helps providers make better treatment decisions. Access to patient medication history, potential drug interactions, and formulary information assists in personalized care delivery.

Efficient Prescription Management

The e-prescribing capability of the platform allows for safer and more efficient management of prescriptions. It reduces prescription errors, streamlines the process, and enhances medication adherence.

online doctor medical consultation

Improved Interoperability

Integrating with Surescripts enhances interoperability in EHR systems between various providers and systems. It facilitates data exchange in standardized formats, simplifying sharing and managing patient information within the healthcare ecosystem.

Increased Patient Safety

Integrating Electronic Prescribing for Controlled Substances (EPCS) within existing technology can lead to safer, faster prescribing for controlled substances, thereby reducing the risk of prescription drug abuse.

Improved Patient Satisfaction

Faster access to medication and accurate information improves patient satisfaction and trust in healthcare services. This is crucial in a patient-centric healthcare environment.

Cost Savings

By incorporating Surescripts into EHR platforms, healthcare providers can benefit from increased medication affordability, reduced duplications, and improved operational efficiency5.


The platform adheres to industry standards, ensuring your application remains compliant with regulatory requirements.

To conclude, integrating Surescripts into your healthcare system or EHR can significantly enhance the functionality of your digital solution, improving health outcomes while delivering an optimized user experience.

Understanding Key Surescripts Features

When embarking on a Surescripts integration project, it’s crucial to understand the key features that this powerful network offers. These features can significantly enhance your healthcare app’s functionality and user experience.

  • E-prescription: This is one of the most significant features of Surescripts. It allows healthcare providers to send prescriptions directly to the patient’s pharmacy of choice electronically, reducing errors and enhancing efficiency. Integrated within the patient chart, prescriptions can be transmitted with just a few clicks.

medicine mobile app

  • Medical Data Sharing: The platform enables an aggregated view of patients’ data across multiple cities and states. This feature assists providers in making informed decisions based on comprehensive, real-time patient information. It streamlines data exchanges between EMR systems, providing real-time access to patient medication history.
  • Electronic Prior Authorization (ePA): The ePA service streamlines the process of obtaining prior authorization for medications. This reduces manual work, speeds up the approval process, and ensures patients receive their medications more quickly.

Also Read: Integrate E-Prescribing into a Mobile App

Each of these features plays a role in improving patient outcomes, increasing efficiency, and enhancing the overall experience for both healthcare providers and patients. By leveraging these features, you’ll be able to maximize the benefits of your Surescripts integration.

Overview of Surescripts APIs and Integration Options

The company’s network offers its partners a set of APIs that can be used to integrate its services into a healthcare application or EHR system. By leveraging the simple Surescript API, developers can easily incorporate the platform’s powerful health information exchange features into their applications.

Here’s a brief overview of the key Surescripts API components:

  • Real-Time Prescription Benefits: This API provides access to patient-specific benefits and formulary information at the point of care, helping physicians make informed prescription decisions.
  • Medication History: This API provides access to a patient’s medication history, including prescriptions filled at retail pharmacies and mail-order houses.
  • Clinical History (Record Locator & Exchange): This API enables access to clinical documents such as Continuity of Care Documents (CCDs) and Care Summaries, providing a comprehensive view of a patient’s health history.
  • Electronic Prior Authorization (ePA): This API allows you to streamline and accelerate the prior authorization process, delivering approvals in minutes.

online doctor prescribing using surescripts in background

  • E-Prescribing for Controlled Substances (EPCS): Facilitates safer and quicker prescription of controlled substances while offering a straightforward path to regulatory compliance.
  • Clinical Messaging: Enables the transmission and reception of HIPAA-compliant data across various care collaboration situations within current workflows.

These APIs are designed for easy integration. However, it should be noted that integrating with Surescripts requires adherence to specific standards and protocols, e.g., the NCPDP SCRIPT Standard v2017071, to ensure secure, compliant data transmission.

By harnessing these APIs, healthcare providers can deliver more efficient, safer, and better-informed care to their patients.

Considerations Before Starting Surescripts Integration

Embarking on a Surescripts integration project is a significant undertaking. It’s essential to consider several factors to ensure a smooth integration process and avoid potential pitfalls.

  1. Understand Your Needs: Different healthcare apps have different needs. Understand which Surescripts features are most relevant to your app. Is it e-prescription, medical data sharing, or electronic prior authorization? Knowing this will guide the integration process.
  2. Technical Expertise: platform integration requires technical knowledge about APIs. Having a team familiar with the simple Surescripts API, stand alone, is crucial for successful integration.
  3. Data Privacy and Security: Healthcare data is sensitive, and its security is paramount. Ensure you have robust security measures in place to protect patient information according to HIPAA.
  4. Compliance: Surescripts adheres to industry standards such as NCPDP SCRIPT and HL7. Make sure your app also complies with these standards for seamless integration.
  5. Resources: Successful integration requires time, money, and human resources. Ensure you have enough of these before starting the integration process.
  6. Vendor Support: The support provided by Surescripts during the integration process can be invaluable. Make sure to leverage it.

Simple surescripts API Metaphor

Remember, preparation is key. By taking these considerations into account before you begin, you can ensure a smoother, more efficient integration process.

Steps to Implement Surescripts Integration

Integrating Surescripts into your healthcare app can seem like a daunting task, but with the right preparation, it’s a smooth road to enhancing your app’s functionality. Here’s the list of crucial steps to get there:

  • Step #1: Needs Assessment
  • Step #2: Access Surescripts Pharmacy API
  • Step #3: Create a Data Map
  • Step #4: Implement the API
  • Step #5: Test and Validate
  • Step #6: Complete Surescripts Certification
  • Step #7: Go Live

Let’s now take a closer look at each step.

Surescripts Integration Mobile App Idea

Step #1. Needs Assessment

Identify the specific Surescripts features that will benefit your healthcare app the most. This could range from e-prescription services to medical data sharing. List out all the Surescripts features you’re considering using and carefully think through each use case scenario.

Step #2. Access Surescripts Pharmacy API

Surescripts offers a Pharmacy API that allows your application to interact with its network. You’ll need to request access to this API as part of the integration process.

Ensure you are prepared to offer technical documentation that explains the architecture of your current health app where it connects with Surescripts. The documentation must detail how you adhere to HIPAA guidelines within your app.

Step #3: Create a Data Map

Develop a data-mapping spec to ensure precise data transmission between your healthcare application and Surescripts. This will require accounting for all potential data fields and formats your app might need when working with the platform.

Step #4: Implement the API

Once you have access to Surescripts and a clear understanding of how your app will communicate with the network, it’s time to integrate the Surescripts Pharmacy API into your application. You’ll need to enlist technical experts who know the ins and outs of working with the APIs to ensure a smooth integration process.

Obviously, this step involves writing code that allows your app to send requests to and receive responses from the Surescripts network. If you’re integrating through a well-established EHR system like Epic, this process is pretty straightforward.

Related: How to integrate a health app with Epic EHR EMR

Step #5: Test and Validate

After implementation, thoroughly test and validate the API integration. This step is crucial in identifying any issues or errors that need to be addressed before going live with the integration.

This includes testing all features and checking for any potential security vulnerabilities. The QA phase may often take up to two months and usually includes also:

  • verifying the integration and interfaces using the platform’s test data and scenarios
  • rigorous HIPAA compliance testing

Step #6: Complete Surescripts Certification

Finally, once all the necessary tests and validations are completed, submit your integration to Surescripts for final certification. That’s required if you’re planning to use their e-prescribing, ambulatory medication history, and similar services.

However, there is no certification process for using Record Locator & Exchange and Clinical Direct Messaging. You’ll only need to perform message validation and identity proofing.

Step #7: Go Live

After successfully completing certification, your healthcare app will be ready for live use with Surescripts – providing a seamless experience for both providers and patients alike. Now you can launch your Surescripts-integrated healthcare app for providers and patients.

Remember, every integration project is unique, so these steps might vary based on your specific needs and circumstances. However, they provide a good starting point for anyone looking to integrate their healthcare app with Surescripts.

Adhering to Surescripts and NCPDP Standards for Successful Integration

For streamlined and secure data transmission in your healthcare app, adherence to both Surescripts and the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) standards is fundamental when you integrate Surescripts into a custom EHR.

online eprescribing site concept integrated with surescripts

Here are the key standards you need to consider:

  1. NCPDP SCRIPT Standard: This standard, used within the platform’s network for electronic prescribing and related transactions, ensures that all e-prescriptions contain necessary information and are transmitted correctly. The NCPDP SCRIPT standard has undergone updates, with the latest being version 2017071. This version improves patient safety, prescription accuracy, and workflow efficiency.
  2. HL7 Standards: Health Level Seven (HL7) standards, widely used in healthcare IT for data exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval, are utilized by Surescripts for transmitting clinical messages, such as medication history information.
  3. Surescripts Certification: Before going live with your integration, Surescripts requires you to pass a certification process. This process tests your application’s compliance with its standards and its ability to correctly send and receive data over the Surescripts network.
  4. Data Security and Privacy Compliance: Healthcare data is highly sensitive. Your integration must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including HIPAA, to ensure the privacy and security of this data.
    By ensuring adherence to these standards, you are not only ticking off boxes but also guaranteeing the functionality, security, and efficiency of your integration. This results in a more effective and safer healthcare app for your users.

Related: HIPAA-Compliant App Development Guide

DoseSpot: A Shortcut to Surescripts Integration?

When considering the path toward integrating with Surescripts, DoseSpot emerges as a compelling option. But does it simplify the process? Let’s delve into this question.

Online Pharmacy Mobile App Concept

DoseSpot is a Surescripts and EPCS-certified platform that offers a full suite of e-prescribing services. This includes Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances (EPCS), Real-Time Prescription Benefit, and Electronic Prior Authorization. By integrating DoseSpot, you gain access to these services, which already have established connectivity with the Surescripts network.

Customizations and Compliance Hand-Holding

However, the key value proposition of DoseSpot lies in its customization capabilities and the support it provides throughout the integration journey. The platform allows healthcare organizations to completely customize their e-prescribing solution and create screens and workflows from scratch, using over 250 DoseSpot APIs.

Furthermore, DoseSpot stands by your side during the compliance and certification processes. They play a key role in ensuring the necessary Surescripts, Drummond, and ONC approvals and certifications are successfully completed, including EPCS, when needed.

So, a shortcut?

So, is DoseSpot a shortcut to Surescripts integration? It might be more accurate to say that DoseSpot provides a streamlined approach. While it doesn’t completely replace the need for Surescripts integration if you’re looking for a more comprehensive solution, the platform does simplify the process, particularly for those who might lack the technical expertise or resources to navigate the integration directly with Surescripts.

In conclusion, whether you opt for direct integration with Surescripts or choose a platform like DoseSpot, the ultimate goal remains the same: To create a seamless, secure, and efficient healthcare experience for your users.

How Much Does Surescripts Integration Cost?

The timeline and budget for implementing Surescripts integration can certainly raise a few eyebrows. Did you know it usually takes about 7 to 9 months from start to finish (if you run multiple clinics, double that)? Now, the investment is not insignificant either. We’re talking about a range somewhere in the ballpark of $200K to $300K, depending on the use case scenarios and the intended functionality for integration. This might sound steep, but when you consider the comprehensiveness of the integration and the vast functionality it unlocks, it starts to make sense.

surescripts integrate mobile app concept

Think about it this way – integrating with Surescripts isn’t just an expense; it’s an investment in creating a more seamless, secure, and efficient healthcare experience. With each feature you integrate, you’re not just ticking off a requirement; you’re enhancing the quality of care, improving patient safety, and streamlining provider workflows. Isn’t that worth the investment?

With this in mind, the costs begin to look not just reasonable but essential for any healthcare app looking to make a real impact.

Related: Cost of EHR Implementation

Potential Challenges and How to Overcome Them in Surescripts Integration

Integrating with Surescripts brings numerous benefits to healthcare apps, but it’s crucial to anticipate the challenges that may arise during this process. Let’s take a look at these potential hurdles and how they can be effectively navigated.

  1. Interoperability Issues: Ensuring seamless data exchange between different systems is one of the most significant challenges in healthcare IT. When integrating with Surescripts, your application must interact seamlessly with various EHRs, pharmacy systems, and other healthcare software. To overcome this, consider implementing standard data formats and protocols, like those specified by NCPDP and HL7.
  2. Certification Requirements: Surescripts requires your application to pass their certification process before going live. This can be time-consuming and technically challenging. Leveraging the expertise of a team familiar with the certification process, like Topflight, can accelerate this process.
  3. Data Privacy and Security Compliance: The sensitive nature of health data means your application must adhere to stringent security standards, such as HIPAA. Regular security audits and adopting best practices for data encryption and protection can help ensure compliance.
  4. User Acceptance: Clinicians, pharmacists, and prescribers need to find the integrated system easy to use and beneficial to their workflows. User acceptance testing and gathering feedback from end-users during development can help ensure the system meets their needs.
  5. Keeping Up with Changes: Surescripts regularly updates its APIs and standards. Staying abreast of these changes and ensuring your application remains compliant can be challenging. A dedicated team monitoring these updates can help maintain compatibility.

simple surescript api

Overcoming these challenges may seem daunting, but with careful planning, adherence to standards, and a seasoned team like Topflight, successful Surescripts integration is achievable.

Time to Build Ties

Feeling overwhelmed with the intricacies of Surescripts integration? You’re not alone. The process, though rewarding, can seem like a maze with its various certification requirements, interoperability issues, and the need for ongoing compliance and updates. The good news is you don’t have to navigate this complex terrain by yourself.

At Topflight, we specialize in turning the daunting task of Surescripts integration into a streamlined, efficient process. Our team of experts is armed with the knowledge, experience, and strategies needed to tackle each challenge head-on. Whether it’s interoperability hurdles, certification hoops, or ensuring your application’s security complies with the highest standards, we’ve got you covered.

Remember, integrating with Surescripts isn’t just about meeting a requirement; it’s about enhancing the delivery of healthcare services. It’s about ensuring that every prescription is accurate, secure, and promptly delivered for the sake of patient safety and care continuity.

Wondering if we’re the right fit for your project? Here’s what we bring to the table:

  • Expert Guidance: Lean on our deep understanding of the healthcare industry to guide you through the Surescripts integration process.
  • Customized Solutions: With your unique needs in mind, we tailor our strategies to ensure your app not only meets but exceeds industry standards.
  • Comprehensive Support: From the initial consultation to final implementation and beyond, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Don’t let the complexity of Surescripts integration hold you back. Reach out to us today and take the first step towards creating a more integrated, efficient, and secure healthcare experience. Your patients and their care providers will thank you for it.

Frequently Asked Questions


Are there any potential challenges or risks associated with the integration, and how will they be mitigated?

Yes, there are several challenges associated with Surescripts integration, such as interoperability issues, certification requirements, data privacy and security compliance, user acceptance, and keeping up with changes in Surescripts’ APIs and standards. These can be mitigated by implementing standard data formats and protocols, leveraging experienced teams for certification, conducting regular security audits, gathering end-user feedback, and maintaining a dedicated team to monitor updates.

Is Surescripts the same as Express Scripts?

No, Surescripts and Express Scripts are not the same. Surescripts is a health information network that enables healthcare providers to send electronic prescriptions, share patient data, and obtain medication history information. On the other hand, Express Scripts is a pharmacy benefit management organization that manages prescription drug benefits on behalf of health insurance companies.

What technologies are used for Surescripts integration?

The key technology used for Surescripts integration is their suite of APIs, which allow your application to communicate with the Surescripts network. Additionally, you’ll need to use secure data transmission protocols and adhere to data formats specified by NCPDP and HL7 standards.

How do you integrate Surescripts into custom EHR?

Integrating Surescripts into a custom EHR involves several steps. First, you’ll need to understand Surescripts’ features and APIs. Then, you’ll need to design and develop the integration, ensuring it meets Surescripts and NCPDP standards. You’ll also need to undergo the Surescripts certification process before your integration can go live.

What processes can Surescripts integration simplify?

Surescripts integration can streamline many processes, including e-prescribing, obtaining patient medication history, sharing patient data, and conducting electronic prior authorization. This can significantly enhance efficiency and accuracy in healthcare delivery.

What tools are needed to implement Surescripts integration?

Apart from technical expertise, you’ll need access to Surescripts APIs, a secure and compliant hosting environment, and a development team familiar with health IT standards like NCPDP and HL7.

How long does it take to set up Surescripts integration?

The time required to set up Surescripts integration can vary based on several factors, such as the complexity of your application, the extent of the integration, and the experience of your development team. However, it’s crucial to account for time for certification, user acceptance testing, and potential revisions. All in all, up to 9 months (in rare cases, twice longer).

Joe Tuan

Founder, Topflight Apps
Founder of Topflight Apps. We built apps that raised $165M+ till date. On a mission to fast-forward human progress by decentralizing healthcare and fintech.
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