UMass Memorial Health Care is implementing software to support secure electronic prescribing of controlled substances throughout the four-hospital delivery system.

The controlled substance and single-sign-on modules from Imprivata will integrate with a new electronic health record system from Epic, says Eric Alper, MD, the chief clinical informatics officer for UMass Memorial, which serves central Massachusetts and includes a behavioral health agency and dozens of ambulatory practices.

The Epic project, scheduled for completion in the fall of 2017, is presently in the build phase.

An important aspect of the selection related to prescribing controlled substances was the ability to use two-factor authentication, enabling users to access the controlled substances prescribing system within the EHR via a token on smartphones or a fingerprint scan.

UMass Memorial considered several vendors for the secure sign-on, with Imprivata and another vendor being the top choices. The competing product, however, was not as well integrated and a little slower, Alper says. Imprivata conducted a usability lab for staff and clinicians, which was well received, and the vendor offered a more streamlined way for clinicians to prescribe controlled substances, he adds.

Alper, who worked for another facility previously that used the Imprivata technology, expects some challenges in adoption. Those challenges will include getting clinicians to enroll and integrating with electronic prescription messaging vendor Surescripts, which will be the primary vendor for controlled substances prescriptions.

“This is something that helps patients get prescriptions more easily and helps physicians to prescribe more easily,” Alper says.

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