Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances enables a significantly better experience for both patients and providers when compared to the analog methods of the past. When a patient requested a refill in the past, a provider needed to manually hand write a prescription or they would have to print the script, go to the printer and hand sign. Next the office would have to contact the patient when the script was ready to come to the office to pick it up. Then the patient would have to drive to the pharmacy to drop it off. Once the script was ready they would have to return to the pharmacy to pick it up. Now, providers can electronically send the prescription directly to the pharmacy and the patient can pick it up from the pharmacy in one trip, when it is convenient for them.
The physical technology to do this exists and is available through Surescripts’ secure and reliable network. My home state of New York showed leadership in mandating the use of electronic prescribing, and the industry has known about this requirement since late 2012. There are really no more excuses not to implement the technology, despite the fact that the window of time to deploy EPCS may be increased by 12 months due to the failure of many to get the job done. The 12-month reprieve will pass very quickly, so now is the time for everyone to work hard and make this a reality. There must not be any further delays.
The pharmacies have done their part and are already processing EPCS transactions. Vendors need to make it a top priority and rollout necessary software updates. Prescribers need to contact their vendors and work closely with them to implement the changes. We all need to GetEPCS!
I’m proud of the work of MEDENT to take action in order to be where we are now. Our company has more than 1,600 providers already using EPCS and more getting enabled every day. Let's get this accomplished and continue moving forward with the transformation of healthcare.
Are you ready for EPCS? If so, what advice would you give to others to help them through the process?
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