Some of the measurable success metrics for EPCS include:
- EPCS utilization rates
- Reduction in paper prescriptions (and associated costs)
- Time savings for providers and other staff (including the associated cost)
- There is a group of providers who legitimately need to prescribe these medications at an order of magnitude higher than others, such as oncologists or palliative care specialists. Like any workflow, there are advantages and disadvantages of EPCS. The ability to cancel or transfer eRx’s when a pharmacy is closed or does not have the prescribed medication in stock is a consideration that needs to be accounted for in the process planning and execution. Many provider systems view this as an opportunity to re-examine their workflows on selection of pharmacy and assure that they are defaulting to those pharmacies that are preferred by the hospital, provider, and/or patients. This will vary by hours of operation, geography, medications on formulary and ability to communicate with prescribers proactively and retrospectively.
- Reduction in pharmacy callbacks (including the associated cost)
- Patient-specific measures:
- Patients, who are typically exhausted and in pain after a surgical procedure or hospital stay, should experience a decreased wait time at a pharmacy. The prescriber will determine which pharmacy was able to fill the required prescribed drug and direct the patient/care giver to that pharmacy.
- While EPCS can help prevent fraud, drug diversion, abuse and addiction, it can make it easier for patients who truly need controlled substances to get their medications filled in a timely and convenient manner.
- It is important to remember that there are many patients who legitimately need controlled medications, opioids included, and care providers should be careful not to perpetuate a stigma or bias on this population of patients.
- EPCS Checklist: A step-by-step project planning guide
- Find E-Prescribing & EHR Software for Providers
- Surescripts 2017 National Progress Report
- Map of state EPCS requirements
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) IFR: Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances