New solution marks industry turning-point by overcoming auditing, certification, and technology cost barriers to EPCS integration for all DrFirst vendor partners

March 22, 2011

Rockville, Md.  – After two years of intensive work, DrFirst announced today that it has created EPCSGold, a turnkey solution that eliminates the challenges faced by HIT vendors to implement e-prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) within their applications. This new solution significantly reduces technology development, auditing, and certification costs otherwise required for vendors to legally offer EPCS to their clients. EPCSGold is currently available only to DrFirst’s 160+ “Open Borders” partners. Beginning in May, DrFirst and its partners will launch electronic prescribing of controlled substances to their physicians and authorized prescribers nationwide.

Although the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) released the final rule on EPCS in June 2010, to date no HIT vendor has begun offering the ability to e-prescribe controlled substances to their clients. This is primarily due to the difficulty of meeting the DEA requirements, the significant costs, and the struggle to develop two-factor authentication solutions that efficiently address the varying needs of providers.

DrFirst played a leading role in an extensive EPCS pilot study in Massachusetts, which resulted in a fully operational EPCS system used today in Berkshire County, MA, under the auspices of the Massachusetts Department of Health, funded by a grant from AHRQ, and under a waiver from the DEA. DrFirst’s new EPCSGold solution allows application vendors to benefit from the experience gained during its pilot by providing a quick and inexpensive means for vendors to equip doctors with the ability to e-prescribe controlled substances without forcing their providers into a one-size-fits-all solution.

“At last e-prescribing will be accessible to all providers, including a previously under-served market of dentists, pain management physicians, surgeons, and other practitioners who prescribe a greater proportion of controlled substances,” said Peter N. Kaufman, Chief Medical Officer of DrFirst. “These providers will benefit from the extra security measures that EPCS offers.”

DrFirst’s Open Borders partners will have immediate access to the new technology. In preparation for launch in May, DrFirst has provided API and other technical specifications to its current 160+ “Open Borders” EHR partners. Currently, participation in the program will be limited to DrFirst and partner clients.

“We dedicated considerable resources to developing our new EPCSGold solution,” said G. Cameron Deemer, President of DrFirst. “Our goal is to work cooperatively with all of our partners to remove this final barrier that has held many physicians back from wide-spread adoption of e-prescribing.”

Audit-proof e-prescribing.

DrFirst’s certified EPCS solution strictly conforms to DEA requirements, which means vendors can confidently and swiftly integrate EPCS with their systems without the hassle and cost of going through an audit process that averages well over $100,000, and which may otherwise be required “per site.”

Flexibility is the key.

DrFirst’s EPCS solution resolves the challenge of dealing with health care providers’ various technology and infrastructure availability and preferences. The solution offers a range of hard and soft identity verification tokens and other security measures.

DrFirst did not cut corners in creating a quality EPCS platform. The service features intuitive administrative tools for application vendors, secure data backup and redundancy, extensive reporting options, and around-the-clock support.

As a result of the DrFirst EPCS service, the cost of developing for EPCS capabilities is no longer prohibitive for application vendors. For details about EPCSGold and becoming a DrFirst Open Borders partner, contact us at