EPCS ready



In October 2018, the "SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act" was signed into law. This sweeping bill institutes a number of initiatives to address America’s opioid abuse epidemic—a crisis that claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people in 2016.

Included in the bill is an electronic prescribing requirement for controlled substances, and the deadline to comply is January 1, 2022. This federal legislation follows significant momentum at the state level, where more than a dozen states have mandated electronic prescribing for controlled substances (EPCS), with several others proposing similar legislation.

To comply with federal and state EPCS laws, healthcare delivery organizations and providers must meet the DEA requirements for EPCS, which are very specific and require a detailed, highly collaborative cross-functional project plan.

To help you understand the DEA requirements and achieve EPCS success, Imprivata has created this EPCS Ready online resource center. Here, you will find information to help you implement the right technologies and processes to fully comply with the DEA regulations and ensure a fast, efficient prescribing workflow that your providers and patients will love. 

Electronic prescribing of controlled substances: an overview of the benefits and regulatory requirements

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As the leading provider of authentication and access management solutions for healthcare, Imprivata has a deep understanding of the DEA EPCS ruling and can help identify the best way to roll out EPCS at your organization.

EPCS readiness guide

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DEA requirements

EPCS is governed by the DEA interim final rule (IFR), which outlines the specific, unique, and complex requirements that healthcare delivery organizations and prescribers must meet before they can enable EPCS. Some of these requirements include:

  • Providers must complete an identity proofing process to confirm that they are authorized to prescribe controlled substances and have been assigned the proper credentials
  • A two-step logical access control process must be in place to give EPCS permissions to approved providers
  • Providers must use two-factor authentication when signing an EPCS prescription 
  • Comprehensive and detailed reporting must be in place to demonstrate compliance and to identify auditable events and security incidents

The complexities of these and other DEA requirements for EPCS necessitate a robust, well-thought-out project plan that involves many stakeholders across the organization. There are a significant number of tactical steps that IT, clinical leadership, pharmacy, application/EHR teams, compliance/credentialing departments, and others must take together to successfully implement EPCS and realize its significant benefits.


Enabling EPCS with Imprivata Confirm ID

Imprivata Confirm ID is the fast, secure signing solution for EPCS. It is the most comprehensive platform for provider identity proofing, supervised enrollment of credentials, two-factor authentication, and auditing and reporting to help healthcare organizations meet the DEA requirements for EPCS. Imprivata Confirm ID integrates with leading EHRs and e-prescribing applications, and it supports the most complete set of two-factor authentication modalities, including Hands Free Authentication, to make EPCS as fast and convenient as possible for care providers.


Customers success

Imprivata has worked alongside hundreds of healthcare delivery organizations across the U.S. as a trusted, strategic partner. Imprivata provides expert insight into the DEA requirements and guidance on EPCS implementation best practices.


This website and the materials herein shall not be interpreted and/or used as legal advice for your company to be used in complying with Federal and State EPCS Laws and/or the DEA requirements for EPCS. Alternatively, it provides background information to help you understand the DEA requirements and achieve EPCS success. This legal information is not the same as legal advice, where an attorney would apply the law to your specific circumstances, so we insist that you consult an attorney if you’d like advice on your interpretation of this information or its accuracy. In summary, you may not rely on the information on this website or the materials herein as legal advice, nor as a recommendation of any particular legal understanding.