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Electronic Prescription of Controlled Substances (EPCS)

Electronic Prescription of Controlled Substances (EPCS)

Sample Answer 

Electronic Prescription of Controlled Substances (EPCS)

EPCS are, in my opinion, yet to fully realize their potential in helping to address the prescription drug abuse problem. The system allows practitioners to write a prescription and transmit it electronically regarding controlled substances. One of the elements of EPCS is the use of a two-factor authentication process. A certified pharmacist or clinician is required to use a combination of security measures such as a password, a security scan such as the user’s biometric data or fingerprint and/or something that the user possesses, such as a token. Although this is important as it ensures that patient safety is included and the prescription is accurate, this layer of protection, however, can potentially decrease efficiency and increase complexity in the clinical workflow. Thus, it becomes a challenge to balance complying with HIPAA regulations while safeguarding patient information and giving users fast access to high-quality care delivery.

One of the greatest concerns in the implementation of EPCS in a hospital would be resistance to change by the personnel that will use the system. Strategic changes in organizations are often met with resistance as staff often like to work in ways they are already used to (Erwin & Garman, 2010). Requiring physicians to go the extra mile and submit electronic prescriptions via the system may appear to be burdensome to some and may be resisted altogether (Thomas et al., 2013). The second possible concern would be training the staff on how to use the system to avoid any errors. Getting the staff to be trained may prove daunting as most hospitals are busy, and creating free time where physicians and pharmacists can be trained could be difficult to achieve. Training will also need to be followed by monitoring of the efficiency involved in system usage, which may be delayed if training is delayed. This will mean implementation of the system may take longer than would ideally be expected (Thomas et al., 2011).


Erwin, D. G., & Garman, A. N. (2010). Resistance to organizational change: linking research and practice. Leadership & Organization Development Journal31(1), 39-56.

Thomas, C. P., Kim, M., Kelleher, S. J., Nikitin, R. V., Kreiner, P. W., McDonald, A., & Carrow, G. M. (2013). Early experience with electronic prescribing of controlled substances in a community setting. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association: JAMIA20(e1), e44–e51. doi:10.1136/amiajnl-2012-001499

Thomas, R., Sargent, L. D., & Hardy, C. (2011). Managing organizational change: Negotiating meaning and power-resistance relations. Organization Science22(1), 22-41.


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Electronic Prescription of Controlled Substances (EPCS)

Summarize your general thoughts and reflect on EPCS.

Electronic Prescription of Controlled Substances (EPCS)

Electronic Prescription of Controlled Substances (EPCS)

List what you believe to be the top two greatest concerns when setting up a hospital-wide program.

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