January 2, 2019

Over 85 percent of Texas pharmacies have the capability for Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS) prescriptions. Unfortunately, less than 3 percent of Texas prescribers are using EPCS. HHSC has launched a state-wide campaign in coordination with Surescripts and other stakeholders to increase EPCS use by prescribers. Pharmacy providers should expect increased controlled substance e-prescriptions and are encouraged to be certain that all staff are informed on accepting and dispensing these e-prescriptions, including CII e-prescription requirements.

A recent Texas Medical Association (TMA) article notes:

“There may be instances in which pharmacy staff deny the prescriptions because they don't have the proper training and don't even realize they can accept EPCS.”

EPCS is believed to be a more secure form of prescription delivery and allows for increased prescription accuracy resulting in improved patient safety. HHSC urges all pharmacies to help make EPCS as smooth as possible for prescribers. Reminding prescribers that EPCS is now allowed and preferred will encourage use. A short video and other tools on how prescribers can start EPCS is available at http://getepcs.com/.

The brochure Getting Started with Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (PDF) is available for download and sharing internally.