Imprivata Confirm ID Protects Physicians & Patients and Enhances Physician Workflow
Aware of the growing opioid epidemic in Ohio, the leadership team at Mercy Medical Center (Canton, OH) made electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) a top initiative. The Medical Center already had CPOE and biometric authentication in place for the electronic signing of non-narcotics; however, its physicians were still using paper scripts to prescribe narcotics. This disjointed workflow frustrated physicians and made them less inclined to electronically prescribe. “If both a narcotic and nonnarcotic were prescribed, our physicians would print scripts for both,” says Cassandra Talafous, clinical systems analyst at Mercy Medical Center. “They didn’t see the point in having part of a patient’s script available at the pharmacy if they still had to wait 20-30 minutes for the rest.” To solve this problem, the Medical Center worked with Forward Advantage to deploy Imprivata Confirm ID for EPCS in February, 2017. Confirm ID for EPCS has already had a dramatic impact.
Imprivata Confirm ID Creates One Seamless Workflow
It’s been six years since Mercy Medical center purchased Imprivata OneSign single sign-on from Forward Advantage and worked with them to deploy the solution. Physicians at Mercy Medical Center log into their systems using fingerprint authentication in conjunction with single sign-on to their MEDITECH EHR. Now, with the deployment of Confirm ID for EPCS, they use the same fingerprint readers to authenticate with OneSign and to electronically order non-narcotics in MEDITECH. The addition of Confirm ID for EPCS extends this secure and convenient workflow to controlled substances. The only difference is that two-factor authentication is required, so physicians must use both a fingerprint and network password when ordering a narcotic. “We didn’t want our physicians to have to carry around anything extra, so we created one seamless workflow that mimics our existing CPOE setup,” continues Talafous. “With Confirm ID for EPCS, physicians don’t have additional work like printing, signing, and dealing with lost scripts. In fact, we haven’t had one compliant from a patient saying that a prescription wasn’t sent and, if we did, we could easily verify it in the system.”
“Patients are at the center of healthcare, and Forward Advantage and Confirm ID for EPCS allow the patient to have a convenient experience for their prescription the same way they do for non-controlled substances,” says Lee Howard, VP of client services at Forward Advantage.
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Be Ahead of State Mandates
When Talafous and her team implemented Confirm ID for EPCS, their main motivation was patient safety and to protect their providers. “With EPCS, you can prevent patients from filling a prescription before a certain date,” she states. “There’s also a max-dose field and other ways to ensure physicians are limiting the amount of narcotics that a patient can have.” She also believes that Confirm ID for EPCS protects the Medical Center too, because it will be prepared in the event EPCS becomes mandated in Ohio. “Ohio is currently not mandated for EPCS, but that could quickly change,” says Talafous. “At any point, we could be told that submissions of controlled substances have to be 100 percent electronic. That’s exactly what happened in New York, so we wanted to be prepared.”
A Success Story for Pain Management
Prior to implementing Confirm ID for EPCS, the Pain Management department at Mercy Medical Center was desperate to establish a workflow for controlled substances. The Medical Center worked with this department to design a workflow using Confirm ID for EPCS and dual authentication to queue all of their medications in a pending status. This department sends 300-400 scripts per week, and its physicians, physician assistants, and nurses can now easily go into the system to sign and send these medications. “This was one of our success stories, and Pain Management was elated,” says Talafous. “Patients no longer have to come to the facility to pick up a piece of paper. That’s a couple hundred patients who don’t have to walk through our door. They don’t come in contact with germs they don’t need, and they’re not taking up office time. With this middle piece completely taken out of their day, our staff have gained a lot of time back.”
Why Forward Advantage?
Forward Advantage is an authorized reseller and implementer for Imprivata. As a MEDITECH-preferred vendor, it has the necessary expertise to implement single sign-on and secure authentication for e-prescribing in a way that optimizes the MEDITECH EHR. Mercy Medical Center currently has more than 70 physicians enrolled in Confirm ID for EPCS, and it hasn’t received any complaints from physicians or patients since going live. “Forward Advantage went above and beyond what they needed to do,” says Talafous. “This is one of the best projects I’ve worked on, and it’s one that our physicians were asking for.”
About Mercy Medical Center
Mercy Medical Center is the provider and employer of choice for quality, cost effective health care in Stark County and surrounding communities. We are a model of community health care demonstrating service excellence and providing wellness, education, and outreach to our community. As an integral part of the Sisters of Charity Health System and in partnership with physicians, we are recognized for excellence in all aspects of patient care. For more information, please visit www.cantonmercy.org.