State legislatures, meanwhile, have more than matched the fast-moving federal legislative activity.
As of March 1, seven states (NY, ME, RI, NC, VA, CT, and AZ) have already passed EPCS mandates, and 13 states have introduced EPCS mandates (CA, MD, GA, OK, IN, TN, SC, MA, PA, NJ, IL, TX, and MI.). And not a moment too soon: In 2016 alone, an average of 116 people per day died from opioid-related drug overdoses, and 11.5 million people misused prescription opioids.
From 2015 to 2016, the number of e-prescriptions for controlled substances rose by 256 percent – from 12.81 million to 45.3 million.
Several other states including California, Missouri, and Vermont are considering similar legislation.
Electronic prescriptions would generate real-time information on opioid use and streamline the prescription process for both providers and patients.
This most recent development represents an historic milestone for the recognition of the role IT can play in combatting prescription drug abuse – opioid abuse in particular. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) on July 28, 2017 introduced HR 3528, The Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act, which would require EPCS for patients in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program.
Clearly, there is now broad awareness of EPCS as an upstream solution that can help healthcare delivery organizations curb opioid abuse while improving prescribing workflows for providers and patients.
More than 300 healthcare organizations rely on Imprivata Confirm ID™ to comply with EPCS requirements while ensuring a fast, efficient workflow for providers.
“It has also greatly reduced handwriting errors and increased continuity of treatment for chronic pain patients as there are significantly less delays in getting prescriptions now that they are only between the pharmacy and prescriber.” New York began implementing the I-STOP law in 2012, which required prescribers to use e-prescribing for controlled substances.