Electronic Prescribing Regulations

Premier Pulse     June 2023

By Walter Reiling, MD, system vice president, chief medical information officer, Premier Health

Federal and state agencies have regulatory requirements for authorizing electronic prescribing in our Epic system. These rules are extensive. They include multiple cybersecurity elements and process steps to ensure the source of a prescription is the proper authorizing provider. One of these requirements is that we validate the identity of anyone electronically prescribing controlled substances in our system. For compliance purposes, our support team needs to see the providers’ state or federal photo identification documents, such as a passport or driver's license. In addition, this requires using the fingerprint reader in Epic/Imprivata. To date, fingerprinting has been done during in-person visits. We realize this can be inconvenient and time-consuming. Work has been underway to find ways to make this easier for our providers, and we now can utilize Microsoft Teams as a video connection to validate a provider's identity. This setup will allow a member of our support team to work with providers from a remote location, such as a different office or hospital. We will still need the provider to use a fingerprint reader on one of our on-site workstations, so it will not typically be something providers can do from home.  Providers can, however, update a device or enroll a new phone from most locations that are Premier-operated sites. It is important to understand that remote access security is uniquely linked to a provider’s phone, and if that phone is replaced for any reason, it will require re-enrollment. If possible, please think ahead and ensure you can take care of this when you’re at one of our sites.

Utilizing this new flexibility  requires the Teams application on a phone or computer with a camera.  While this will make things easier,  it will still be inconvenient sometimes. The work to make it easier will continue.  As always, you can contact the Customer Support Desk for assistance. Thank you in advance for your help in complying with these regulations.

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