Improving patient and provider satisfaction, reducing paper prescriptions with Imprivata Confirm ID for EPCS

Key facts

  • Industry: Healthcare
  • Location: La Crosse, Wisconsin
  • Beds:325


  • Daul prescribing workflows created workflow inefficiency and provider frustration
  • Potential theft risk associated with paper prescription
  • Patient dissatifcation with paper prescriptions


  • Significant reduction in paper prescriptions
  • More than 80% of controlled substances prescribed electronically
  • Improved provider workflow efficiency
  • Increased patient satisfaction

Gundersen Health System is a 325-bed teaching institution based in La Crosse, Wisconsin, with additional hospitals and clinics located throughout Wisconsin, northeastern Iowa, and southeastern Minnesota. 

Gundersen implemented Epic (inpatient) in 2008 and Epic (ambulatory) in 2011, enabling electronic prescribing of non-controlled substances in the process. But providers were still required to prescribe controlled substances using paper, which created a number of challenges for both patients and providers:

  • Inefficient dual prescribing workflows frustrated physicians and patients
  • Traveling long distances to their care location for paper prescriptions significantly inconvenienced many patients 
  • Paper prescriptions were printed to centralized locations, which raised the risk of theft

“We realized what an inefficient, potentially insecure process it was not to have an e-prescribing option for controlled substances,” says Amy Loos, a Clinical Informaticist at Gundersen. “Relying on paper was frustrating to our physicians, and it definitely wasn’t a patient satisfier, either. We needed to change that.”

The team at Gundersen knew that an electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) solution would help them reduce paper prescriptions – but whatever solution was selected needed to meet DEA requirements and integrate seamlessly with Epic to ensure a convenient, seamless workflow for providers.

The solution

Gundersen was using Imprivata OneSign® Single Sign-On in their anesthesia department, and was in the process of expanding its use of Imprivata OneSign across the enterprise. Gundersen’s familiarity with Imprivata made their EPCS decision an easy one – Gundersen selected Imprivata Confirm ID for EPCS™ to help streamline their e-prescribing process.

Imprivata Confirm ID for EPCS is a comprehensive platform for provider identity proofing, supervised enrollment of credentials, two-factor authentication, and auditing and reporting. 

The solution helps Gundersen to meet EPCS requirements and reduce paper-based subscriptions, and also seamlessly integrates with their Epic EHR and gives providers a fast, convenient two-factor authentication solution with fingerprint biometrics. Imprivata Confirm ID fits so neatly into Gundersen’s workflows and processes, in fact, providers were asking for it before its full deployment.

“Our initial pilot was successful. It had our clinical staff talking and in short order, physicians across the health system wanted it for their patients as quickly as possible,” Bramwell says. “It was really that clinical influence that pushed the full deployment forward.”

Imprivata: A trusted, strategic partner

When Gundersen elected to implement Imprivata Confirm ID for EPCS, they also chose to fully implement Imprivata OneSign Single Sign-On at the same time.

“I think it’s a huge benefit to have our SSO and EPCS solutions provided by the same vendor,” Bramwell says. “It never even occurred to me that we could have separate vendors for the two solutions. I honestly couldn’t imagine what it would be like if they weren’t part of the same platform.”

The Imprivata authentication platform, consisting of Imprivata OneSign and Imprivata Confirm ID, offers a comprehensive approach to authentication and access requirements, all from a single management and implementation platform.

“Having both SSO and EPCS implemented at Gundersen has been a huge benefit,” says Dr. Mike Redman, CMIO and practicing otolaryngologist. “The Imprivata platform helps my workflow, but also positively impacts my patients.”

Seeing the benefits

When Imprivata Confirm ID was rolled out, Gundersen immediately saw the benefit of their investment. Gundersen providers quickly adopted the new solution, which improved their workflows as well as the lives of their patients.

With nearly the entire health system enabled for EPCS with Imprivata Confirm ID, Gundersen has seen:

  • A significant reduction in paper prescriptions
  • More than 80% of controlled substances prescribed electronically
  • Improved provider workflow efficiency
  • Increased patient satisfaction
  • A reduced risk of prescription theft and fraud

“With Imprivata Confirm ID for EPCS in place, our e-prescribing process is fast and efficient, which benefits both clinical staff and patients,” says Redman. “We now have an easy way to get medication to our patients as quickly as possible, helping them to avoid unnecessary trips to the doctor or long waits at the pharmacy. And, because the entire process is electronic, we mitigate the risk of drug diversion associated with paper. Thanks in large part to Imprivata, EPCS has been a huge success.”