Leveraging Imprivata to enable fast, secure access to PHI and seamless EPCS in EpicCare

Key facts

Industry: Healthcare

Location: Salisbury, Maryland

Beds: 300


  • Improve patient satisfaction and prescription security
  • Increase efficiency of prescribing workflows for physicians
  • Ensure pharmacists know they’re working with the correct prescriptions
  • Decrease incidents of drug diversion and fraud


  • Physicians spend less time writing prescriptions and more time working with patients
  • Pharmacists can fill prescriptions more quickly and reliably
  • Patients can get their prescriptions in a more timely manner
  • Fraud has been reduced

Located in rural Maryland, Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC) is a 300-bed hospital and Level II trauma center that has 500 medical staff and hosts about 90,000 emergency room visits a year.

To improve provider workflow efficiency, as well as increase patient safety and satisfaction, PRMC determined they needed a better process for prescribing controlled substances. Like many organizations, PRMC had relied on paper prescriptions, which can be inefficient, difficult for patients to manage, and susceptible to fraud.

“Paper scripts are problematic on a number of levels,” says Dr. Chris Snyder, Chief Medical Information Officer at PRMC. “They can be copied. Handwriting can be an issue. And the dual workflows – paper for narcotics, eRx for everything else – can really bog things down.”

For PRMC, electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) would address the above challenges and benefit these key stakeholders:

  • Physicians would have the ability to prescribe controlled medications from any location, sending the scripts safely to the pharmacy
  • Pharmacists would have an accurate display of the contents of each script and which provider submitted it
  • Patients would enjoy a more efficient and secure process for picking up their medications

The challenge, however, was that EPCS is highly regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and organizations must meet a number of requirements to enable EPCS in a compliant way. These include:

Snyder and his team sought a solution that would not only meet the rigorous DEA requirements for EPCS, but also establish a more efficient and convenient process for physicians.

An Epic partnership

When evaluating solutions for EPCS, PRMC first looked internally. The hospital was already using Imprivata OneSign® to enable fast, secure access to systems and patient information, and the prospect of deploying an EPCS solution from a trusted, strategic IT vendor was very appealing.

“What we wanted to do,” explains Snyder, “was to find a solution that met all our requirements, yet still gave providers a seamless workflow. And by migrating from our legacy EHR to Epic, we realized we had the opportunity to enable EPCS. It was a perfect opportunity.”

PRMC elected to implement Imprivata Confirm ID, the comprehensive identity and multifactor authentication platform for healthcare, for EPCS based on its ability to provide:

“Imprivata is a core component of our IT infrastructure,” says Raymond Atkins, CIO at PRMC. “We’ve already experienced its speed, security, and ability to save us time. So making the move to Epic was an easy step and a logical evolution of our partnership.”

EPCS made simple

If the move to Epic was easy, using it has proven to be even easier. The enrollment process is much less complicated, and the seamless two-factor authentication has been a huge benefit to everyone.

“Working with Epic and Imprivata has really changed the ability for us to quickly access the record with single sign-on,” says Snyder. “That’s a huge improvement in our workflow, and it actually demonstrates to the patient that we have a secure tool in place. Even better, it helps us meet our DEA requirements.”

Realizing the benefits

Since implementing EPCS, PRMC has realized a number of benefits, including:

“Patients love that we have this capability,” says Snyder. “They’re not waiting at the pharmacy. And the pharmacist doesn’t have to call back to confirm the script was accurate. It adds convenience and improves the entire flow from provider to pharmacist to patient. So it’s a win-win across the board.”

  • An electronic health record or e-prescribing application that is properly certified for EPCS
  • Identity proofing for all providers who will be enabled for EPCS
  • A process for enrolling providers and approving credentials
  • Two-factor authentication for signing EPCS orders
  • Comprehensive reporting mechanisms
    • Integration with Imprivata OneSign that delivers a comprehensive authentication platform
    • Integration with Epic to embed EPCS into the provider’s workflow
    • Fast, seamless two-factor authentication using Imprivata’s push token
    • A complete, end-to-end solution for meeting the DEA identity proofing, credentialing, and reporting requirements for EPCS
    • Improved efficiency and satisfaction for patients and physician
    • Safer and more efficient medication handoffs at discharge
    • Easier training of new providers