Dr. Azar Korbey, founder of the New Hampshire-based family practice All Care Medical, is a technology trailblazer. He even programmed a patient-friendly website for his own practice.

All Care Medical is home to six clinicians and a wide range of services under one roof, including an onsite lab and pharmacy. We’ve worked with Dr. Korbey many times to apply technology that helps improve patient care and efficiency for his office. One process that requires special attention is prescribing controlled substances.

Prescribing controlled substances requires a lot of care and time

Across the industry about 11% of U.S. prescriptions are for controlled substances, medications often used to manage pain or anxiety. To prescribe them, doctors must adhere to U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency guidelines. Some states are developing even tighter controls (e.g., I-STOP in New York).

The processes help ensure safety, but compliance can be cumbersome.

For example, when a patient requested a refill for a controlled substance from Dr. Korbey’s office, a nurse had to verify the prescription and put a printed copy on his desk for signature. Once signed, the prescription went back to the front desk and waited for the patient to physically retrieve it and take it to a pharmacy.

Allscripts is pioneering identification and authentication technology to enable physicians to prescribe controlled substances electronically. The capability will help improve clinician efficiency and simplify compliance, while keeping patient safety as a top priority.

Early adopter relationship built on trust

When we looked for clients who would help test the product, we asked Dr. Korbey to serve as an industry early adopter. He agreed and gave invaluable feedback throughout the process – from set-up to go-live.

“I like to have input to what’s going to make a difference in technology as it applies to a doctor’s office,” he said. “As an early adopter, I can be involved in making the workflow better.”

Having been an Allscripts client since 1986, Dr. Korbey trusted that his practice would have excellent support throughout the process.  “Nobody comes close to the kind of service Allscripts provides,” he said. “You need to use someone who’s going to be there for you. You can’t afford to be down.”

Electronic Prescriptions of Controlled Substances (EPCS): “It’s a snap.”

All Care Medical has been using EPCS for more than three months now. “It’s a snap,” Dr. Korbey said. “It just adds one simple step to a regular prescription.” The practice has completed about 300 EPCS transactions in that time.

Patients will now have faster, simpler access to prescription refills. Dr. Korbey expects the more efficient EPCS process will save time and money for his practice.

It’s not just good for patients and doctors. Dr. Korbey also believes this technology is another step towards a Connected Community of HealthTM. He estimates about half of the 30 pharmacies he works with are now accepting EPCS and hopes that more will adopt the technology soon.

In fact, according to Surescripts there are now 14,000 certified pharmacies in the 44 states that allow EPCS. By the end of April, registered users prescribed 102,000 transactions through EPCS, averaging between 800 and 1000 transactions per day.

Thanks to technology trailblazers like Dr. Korbey, proven EPCS solutions will help the entire healthcare community. For more information on EPCS, please contact ePrescribe@allscripts.com.

How do you expect Electronic Prescriptions of Controlled Substances to change care delivery?


Editor’s Note: This post was updated on July 1 to provide a corrected email contact address.

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About the author

Rebecca Winokur, MD, is director of solutions management at Allscripts. In this role, she leads the ePrescribe solution and serves as the clinical lead for our native iPad® application, Allscripts Wand. Prior to joining Allscripts, Dr. Winokur practiced for five years in an orthopedics practice in Burlington, Vermont, and completed a fellowship in sports medicine at Maine Medical Center. She also volunteers for a nonprofit organization dedicated to the well-being and security of vulnerable and orphaned children worldwide.

4 COMMENTS on Early adopter tests electronic prescriptions for controlled substances


Sivaram says:

06/26/2013 at 7:34 pm

Can you send more details of how you are prescribing controlled substance through EPCS. What additional step you are taking to comply with state regulations on controlled substance.


    Kathy Davis says:

    07/01/2013 at 1:03 pm

    Hi, Sivaram,

    Thanks for your interest. Electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) is available in Allscripts ePrescribe v17 with an upgrade to the Deluxe EPCS service. (EPCS requires an additional fee.)

    Allscripts ePrescribe enables EPCS in compliance with both federal and state regulation. At a federal level, the application passed the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s third-party audit requirement. At a state level, the application allows or prohibits providers to electronically prescribe controlled substances based on the state regulation for the sending and receiving destinations. For example, if a physician attempts to electronically prescribe a schedule 2 medication in a state where it’s prohibited, the application won’t allow EPCS and the prescription must be printed.

    Hope this information helps. You can contact the ePrescribe sales team at ePrescribe@allscripts.com for more information.


David Galbraith says:

10/30/2014 at 12:56 pm

While the concept of prescribing controlled substances is a good one, I can speak as an early adopter that the pharmacies are currently refusing to accept these prescriptions without paper even though they have listed themselves as CS certified. The electronic delivery of these prescriptions is far more secure than the paper transaction of old. If anyone has gone through the process of being certified to do this or written one electronically, you would identify with that as being true. Unfortunately, we have a pharmacy establishment that is not yet on board so the process lends itself to duplication. Before the pharmacy is allowed to list themselves as CS ready, they should be contracted to accept legitimate electronically certified prescriptions from physicians that have gone to the trouble and through the process of being able to write them. I am hoping this situation resolves itself soon.


David Clements says:

02/28/2015 at 3:16 pm

Please give update. What security features are you using with controls? And are pharmacies accepting these now?

I understand the next Allscripts upgrade will allow us to purchase this feature. Is it worth it?



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