In response to the nation’s climbing prescription drug abuse problem, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) finalized a rule in 2010, permitting electronic prescriptions for controlled substances (EPCS). Today, e-prescribing is legal in all 50 states, and becoming increasingly popular. According to SureScripts’ 2015 National Report, the number of e-prescriptions have doubled since 2012.
So why is EPCS becoming more and more of a standard practice? EPCS is a step in the right direction to fighting fraud and abuse of controlled substances and provides numerous benefits for physicians and their patients, outlined below.
Benefits of EPCS for Small Practices
- Makes prescribing more efficient and secure - With EPCS, physicians can send prescriptions for patients directly to the pharmacy from within the EHR at the point of care, instead of having to handwrite a prescription that could potentially get lost or stolen or prompt a phone call from a pharmacist needing further clarification.
- Reduces medication errors, fraud and abuse - By eliminating the need for paper prescription pads, EPCS ensures prescriptions are getting into the right hands. EPCS has also been proven to improve prescription accuracy by preventing drug to allergy interactions, incorrect dosing, illegible prescriptions, etc. With EPCS, long gone are the days pharmacies receive scripts they can’t read.
- Added convenience and safety, for physicians and patients - With EPCS, physicians can confidently and seamlessly e-prescribe controlled substances to their patient’s pharmacy. EPCS ensures the prescription reaches the pharmacy and the patient can easily pick up their medication, also improving patient medication adherence.
EPCS has proven to be beneficial for physicians and although legal, EPCS has not been mandated nationwide with the exception of four states. The following have passed legislation, mandating electronic prescriptions for controlled substances:
- New York
Interested in EPCS?
Many small practices realize the benefits of EPCS and want to partake, even if not required by their state. To begin e-prescribing for controlled substances there are a few initial steps: (1) use an EPCS certified application (EPCS certified means the application has completed testing and certification through a third party auditor, required by the DEA) and (2) complete the provider authentication process.
Practice EHR is EPCS Certified
Practice EHR’s EPCS testing and certification was completed by Drummond Group, one of the first DEA-approved certification organizations. This EPCS certification allows physicians to seamlessly send Schedule II through V controlled substance prescriptions to pharmacies from within Practice EHR. For more information about Practice EHR’s EPCS certification, read our press release.
Ready to begin EPCS? Request a call from our team to learn more.