April 21, 2016

Dr First

Helping Physicians Take Full Advantage of EPCS

With e-prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) legal in all fifty states for Schedules II – V, and more than 54,000 pharmacies across the country now EPCS-enabled, it’s time to turn our focus to helping physicians take full advantage of the workflow and patient safety benefits of e-prescribing for both legend drugs and controlled substances.
Although the majority of providers have adopted electronic health records and e-prescribing systems, according to Surescripts, only 4% of physicians are using controlled substance e-prescribing. When you compare that to the fact that pharmacy adoption is at 80%, it’s clear that we have work to do. Now our focus must turn to implementation, usability, and best practices. The standards are in place and we need to help healthcare providers take full advantage through the adoption and proper use of these tools.
To that end, we are launching an educational infographic series to help providers understand how to get started with EPCS and clear up misconceptions about the identity-proofing process, including binding the token and completing the second verification of the user. Many physicians believe that the process has been completed when they have completed the identify-proofing process, but that is just the first of three steps in getting to done. We all know that the implementing EPCS can be challenging, but understanding and following the steps in the process will reduce the provider’s frustration.
Stay tuned for our other quality topics over the next few months, such as:

  • How to manage your tokens and the importance of safeguarding your information
  • How to write quality prescriptions and therefore reduce pharmacy calls to your office
  • How to write liquid prescriptions with metric quantities
  • How to use the “notes to the pharmacist” and what information should go in this section
  • How to write patient directions in English and stop using Latin abbreviations

Please feel free to share the information with your colleagues. Ultimately, by following some of these quality ideas, you will see fewer phone calls from the pharmacist and you will have happier patients when they get their medications.
Click here to download the infographic.
Additional Resources