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Problem Tech Solves

Tech Brief

Despite decades of digitization and standards, healthcare still has a problem with dirty data. That means a great deal of digital information must be touched by human hands before it can be consumed by hospital or pharmacy systems. This is more than an inconvenience. Manually entering information can introduce errors that contribute to patient harm. Inconsistent technology standards, national drug codes (NDCs) that don’t align with health systems’ drug databases, and variations in prescription instructions (for example, “oral” vs. “by mouth”) all contribute to data arriving as “free text,” which requires manual re-entry into the correct fields in the receiving system when patient records are exchanged between providers. If healthcare providers could safely confirm and renew a prescription with significantly fewer clicks and keystrokes, health systems and their ambulatory practices would benefit from more efficient workflows, fewer medication errors, and improved patient safety. According to a 2022 KLAS report, hospital clinicians are three times more likely to leave their jobs when they are unhappy with their organization’s EHR.* When the majority of prescription data needs to be manually entered in the EHR nearly every time, satisfaction with technology is a tall order to fill. Clinical leaders and IT teams can directly address burnout and frustration by making sure that when information is shared between systems, medication details arrive within the discrete fields of an EHR where they belong. * March 2022 KLAS Report https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/ehrs/5-key-stats-on-clinicians-ehr-burnout.html

Tech Differentiators

Our differentiators include: Proven, patented technology: SmartRenewal joins DrFirst’s SmartSuite family of AI solutions, which has been improving the quality of medication records since 2015, and now processes an average of 15 million medication records per day. Using our patented AI technology, SmartRenewal automates the transcription of prescription instruction (sig) data into the EHR, significantly cutting down on the manual clicks and keystrokes that can contribute to medication errors and provider burnout. AI and machine learning: SmartRenewal understands the context of free-text medication instructions in a prescription renewal and prepopulates discrete fields with the precise terms used by the receiving healthcare organization’s EHR. The AI is designed to improve its performance over time as it learns to translate, structure, and codify medication data with greater speed and efficiency.


Three health systems are early adopters: Gundersen Health, Butler Health, and Northeast Georgia Health System. Gundersen integrated SmartRenewal in its Epic EHR to lighten the load of its 1,000-member clinician staff. Previously, sigs were correctly interpreted only 27% of the time, leaving 73% to be manually entered. Now SmartRenewal interprets an additional 57% of sigs, bringing automatic translation up to 84%. “One of the most redundant tasks in the EHR for our staff, including clinicians, nurses, and medical assistants, is completing medication renewals,” says Rajiv Naik, M.D., FAAP, Director of Informatics. “It's frustrating for staff when the sig doesn't pull into discrete data fields as the medication crosses interfaces from the pharmacy to our medical record, although the information seems as if it should be there. The extra typing and clicking contributes to clinician burnout. We are excited to relieve the burden on our staff by using SmartRenewal to safely and accurately complete the sig in our medication renewals.” At Butler Health, clinicians renew more than 19,000 prescriptions a month. “That’s over 600 times a day that our staff is helping patients within our facilities while also taking care of patients at home who are waiting for refills,” says Roger Lutz, Chief Information Officer. “With SmartRenewal, we don’t have to sacrifice personalized care to focus on patient safety and medication adherence. We’ve seen a 94.7% translation in renewal sigs from pharmacy short codes to our EHR’s nomenclature. That’s over 3 million fewer clicks and keystrokes for our clinicians per year.”

Why Us