EPCS adoption, are we there yet?

Mae-ellen Gavin
Jul 31, 2012

Although the DEA Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances (EPCS) ruling came out in 2010 many healthcare organizations are just now, in mid-2012, starting to look at what they need to do to roll it out. Why is that?  Well the ruling was just that, a ruling, many factors had to be in place by EMR/e-Prescribing vendors, pharmacy vendors, Surescripts and providers themselves.

Before you start rolling out EPCS, make sure you understand not only the DEA ruling but  your state requirements, your vendor capabilities and EPCS certification status.  Take for example, the two-factor authentication requirement, the DEA ruling does not support authentication technologies that are widely used in healthcare today such as proximity cards.  Does that mean you should stop rolling out proximity cards in your environment?  No, you need to look at where it makes sense to support proximity card authentication –such as in the hospital and in some clinics, deploy FIPS-compliant fingerprint readers for the clinics that write many controlled substance prescriptions, and then issue OTP tokens to prescribers in the hospital who occasionally need to do EPCS from the patient rooms during discharge.

Imprivata has significant experience working with hundreds of healthcare customers in determining the right authentication method for the right situation—enhancing clinical workflows by removing technology barriers.  Our Planning Guide for Electronic Prescriptions for EPCS compiles our experiences in an easy to read guide—take a look and learn how to balance the needs of EPCS with your overall workflow and e-Prescribing adoption.

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