In our recent blogs on EPCS we discussed the increasing development of the electronic prescribing ecosystem and the regulations that govern prescribing controlled substances electronically. Currently, in order to meet the regulatory standards, the workflow for EPCS requires an extra step at the time of transmission. However, with the latest technology in place, we are certain that EPCS is faster and more cost effective than printing on state mandated “special paper.”
Per DEA regulation, a prescriber must first be identity proofed before they can enroll in the EPCS program. In the MediTouch system a simple checkmark next to the prescriber name denotes that the prescriber is EPCS certified.
Drugs that, by regulation, are considered a controlled substance will be highlighted, making the prescriber aware that two-factor authorization will be required.
Our pharmacy search engine can filter for pharmacies that are EPCS certified. Pharmacies that are EPCS capable are also highlighted.
In order to complete the transmission process, two factors are required:
Factor 1: What You Know – The prescriber is prompted for their EPCS ID/Password combination. This combination never changes and is used repetitively for EPCS.
Factor 2: What You Have – Most EHRs use either a cell phone or a key fob. Possession of the hardware device acts as proof of who you are. Remember, the unique hardware device is associated with the prescriber at the time they are identity proofed and granted EPCS privileges. The MediTouch application uses Verizon Universal ID Services. With Verizon Universal ID Services, users can download an app that creates a six-character numeric one-time passcode. We find that this is the fastest way to manage the delivery of the one-time passcode. Users may also receive the code in a text message, but we only recommend that alternative for users that do not have a smartphone.
The prescriber is prompted for the one-time passcode.
Note: Multiple controlled drugs can be submitted for a single patient in one batch.
Transmitting a controlled drug does require a few extra moments – but the extra time it takes barely amounts to 15 seconds. More importantly, this process is much faster than any other alternatives like printing or calling the pharmacy.
The time has come for prescribers to embrace EPCS. We expect that in the coming years, state regulatory agencies will be closely following New York’s mandate and other states will become fast followers. With MediTouch, we have made the EPCS workflow simple and our implementation team has the expertise to assist prescribers with the identity proofing / on-boarding process.