Connecticut the Fourth State to Mandate E-Prescribing to Combat Opioid Abuse

Connecticut lawmakers recently passed legislation that requires electronic prescribing of opioid medication, further validating the significant role technology can play in combatting our national prescription drug abuse epidemic.

In 2016, Connecticut had 917 fatal overdoses involving painkillers – a 26% increase since 2015. According to Deidre Daly, United States Attorney for the district of Connecticut, those numbers are trending to be at 1,000 this year. Since 2013, Connecticut has overwhelmingly surpassed the national death rate for drug and opioid overdoses.

Signed into law on June 30, 2017, House Bill 7052, An Act Preventing Prescription Opioid Diversion and Abuse, will help address this crisis but mandating electronic prescribing of all opioid medication, starting on January 1, 2018.

Connecticut joins New York, Maine, and Virginia as the fourth state to pass similar electronic prescribing mandates. Electronic prescribing of opioids and other controlled substances helps address drug diversion, fraud, and doctor shopping by taking the paper prescription—and the prescriber’s DEA number—out of the hands of the patient. Prescriptions are securely sent directly to the pharmacy, which improves patient safety and prescription security.

However, while electronic prescribing for controlled substances (EPCS) can serve as formidable weapon in the fight against opioid abuse, there are a number of specific requirements healthcare organizations and prescribers must meet to comply with the DEA regulations pertaining to EPCS. These requirements are designed to create a secure, auditable chain of trust through the entire prescribing process, but if not implemented correctly, organizations introduce the risk of non-compliance or limited adoption by providers.

As a trusted solutions provider, Imprivata can help organizations understand the EPCS requirements and implement a complete, end-to-end solution that satisfies the DEA regulations while delivering a fast, secure workflow for prescribers.

For more information, “A Quick Guide to EPCS,” outlines the process that care providers should take to properly adopt EPCS into their workflows and what roles must be defined to achieve a successful roll-out.