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CVS’s New Mobile App Makes Refilling Prescriptions Easy

Posted on April 1, 2013 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

CVS has really upped the standards for other pharmacies and drug stores with the recent release of it’s iPad app. Basically, by logging into the app, you see a virtual CVS. While it has a lot of non-medical uses, that are actually pretty cool, there are two parts of the CVS app I want to to feature. First off, I just think this app looks neat. The only time I’ve been in a CVS was when I was in North Carolina last summer First, the pharmacy center. When you pull it up on the app, it looks just like you stepped up to the front desk at a pharmacy. Here are a few of the features of the pharmacy center:

  • Scan your Refill: Just scan the barcode on any prescription, and it will show up in your queue to refill it
  • Manage presciriptions for yourself and your family from the tablet.
  • Use the Rapid Refill feature to refill your common prescriptions
  • You can “grab” your prescriptions that have been saved and quickly refill them

The other health-related features is the MinuteClinic. This basically provides information about the walk-in clinics that are located inside of CVS stores. When you go here in the app,  you can do the following things:

  • Find the nearest clinic and its hours
  • Check out what services are offered and what the costs are
  • Check to see if your insurance is accepted

I’m a very visual person, which is why I like this app. Even though it’s all virtual, and you aren’t actually going up to the counter, it kind of makes it more fun. This is definitely a great app for anyone that really uses the services at CVS on a regular basis. It’s definitely a lot easier to use than some of the websites I’ve seen different pharmacies creating.

The app is free and can be downloaded for the iPad here.

ePrescribing Controlled Substances

Posted on August 3, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Back on September 13, 2009 I wrote a post titled, “FDA Approves Pilot Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances.” I’d link to the post, but unfortunately the news got sent to me prematurely and so I had to take the post down. It was unfortunate, since there was and still is a lot of interest in being able to ePrescribe controlled substances. In fact, I’d say that not being able to prescribe controlled substances electronically is the current Achilles heal of ePrescribing.

Fast forward to the recent announcement that DrFirst’s announcement of the Nationwide Launch of their ePrescribing Controlled Substances product. Their latest ePrescribing product for controlled substances is called EPCS Gold and is fully certified to meet the prescription processing requirements for Surescripts, the DEA’s requirements in the Interim final rule, and the Identify Proofing requirements set by NIST.

I’m really glad to see ePrescribing of controlled substances moving forward. This will make ePrescribing much more attractive to physicians. Especially physicians that regularly prescribe controlled substances like surgeons and pain doctors.

However, this controlled substance ePrescribing announcement does of course come with it’s limitations. I think they’re described well in this part of the press release:

Prescribers enrolling for EPCS Gold™ will be able to send controlled substance prescriptions electronically after a simple credentialing and identity-proofing process with DrFirst. After providers are certified, they can begin e-prescribing Schedule II-V drugs based on their individual state laws and the ability of the receiving pharmacy to meet the DEA’s requirements to process these prescriptions. To avoid any confusion and eliminate guesswork by providers, EPCS Gold™ automatically detects which substances can be sent electronically.

The two challenges are quite clear: state laws and pharmacy ability to meet the DEA’s requirements. I haven’t done any in depth research on either subject, but I have a feeling that both of these things will be major issues across the country. I’d like to think it won’t be, but knowing the pace of state legislation and pharmacy adoption of these standards I’m not hopeful that they’re ready to receive controlled substance prescriptions electronically.

However, the above step is an important one. You have to have all sides ready to handle the security required to make ePrescribing controlled substances a reality. This is the first step and a very good one.