Hospitals, Doctors, Electronic Health Record Vendors Prepare for E-Prescribing Controlled Drugs

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An HIStalk webinar reviews electronic prescribing of controlled drugs, which will likely increase now that New York has enacted a mandatory e-prescribing law and the Drug Enforcement Administration has increased its control of drugs such as Vicodin and Lortab.

Electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) will ramp up over the next few months, according to experts who presented a recent HIStalk (http://www.histalk.com) webinar titled “Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances is Here: What Should You Do?”

The webinar, which drew nearly 400 registrants, was sponsored by Imprivata, a leading provider of authentication and access management solutions for the healthcare industry (http://www.imprivata.com/). The 49-minute video recording, including audience questions and answers, is available for replay on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoNJNTYdr1s).

Two events will increase EPCS prescription volumes: New York’s I-STOP law that requires all in-state prescriptions to be sent electronically by March 27, 2015 and the reclassification of potentially addictive combination pain relievers such as Vicodin and Lortab to the more tightly controlled Schedule II by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on October 6, 2014.

Sean Kelly, MD, chief medical officer of Imprivata, said in the webinar that EPCS can reduce fraud, improve patient satisfaction, and help providers meet Meaningful Use electronic prescribing requirements. Prescribers will benefit, he said, by eliminating dual workflows and limiting the exposure of their DEA registration number.

Presenter William Winsley, MS, RPh, former president of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, urged providers and vendors of electronic health record (EHR) systems to prepare for the move to e-prescribing.

Hospitals and physician practices must assure that their EHR vendor has certified their product by independent audit as the DEA requires, Winsley said. They will also need to implement prescriber authentication using two methods from among the three allowed: passwords, fingerprint biometrics, and hardware token. They will also be required to positively identify those prescribers whose DEA and state credentials allow them to prescribe controlled substances.

David Ting, founder and CTO of Imprivata, suggested that hospitals enlist physician e-prescribing champions and assure that local pharmacies are ready to accept electronic prescriptions.

“EPCS can help fight one of the top healthcare issues facing the US today, prescription drug diversion and abuse,” concluded Dr. Kelly. “As an emergency physician, I watch this crisis unfold daily. Prescription drug overdoses cause 23,000 deaths per year, more than than homicides and car accidents combined. This topic touches a lot of lives.”

The webinar can be viewed on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoNJNTYdr1s. Information about sponsoring HIStalk webinars is available at http://histalk2.com/histalk-webinars/

About HIStalk

HIStalk, launched in 2003 by an anonymous health system IT director, is one of healthcare IT’s most influential, most referenced, and most heavily trafficked sites. Its industry news, rumors, and humor are followed by 50,000 provider and vendor executives, informatics professionals, government officials, and financial executives, 92 percent of whom who say reading HIStalk helps them do their job better.

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Lorre Wisham
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