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E-Prescribing Information

856 IAC 1-40:  Electronic Prescribing

What is an electronic prescription?
The only difference between a regular prescription and an electronic prescription is that an electronic prescription contains the electronic signature of the practitioner and is transmitted in accordance with relevant law.  

An e-prescription originates with the prescribing practitioner using a computer, sending the prescription through an approved electronic data intermediary ("EDI"), to a receiving pharmacy's computer.  The prescription software used by the prescriber must submit the prescription through an approved EDI in order for the e-prescription to be considered valid.    

E-prescribing does not include a prescription that is:

  • transmitted by facsimile, including those sent from a prescribing practitioner's computer to a receiving pharmacy's fax machine; or 
  • printed from the prescriber's computer. 

What is an approved EDI?
An EDI is an entity that provides the infrastructure that connects a computer system used by a prescribing practitioner with a computer system used by a pharmacy.  The EDI facilitates the secure transmission of an electronic prescription order, a refill authorization request, a communication, and other patient care information between a practitioner and a pharmacy.  

The EDI is required to submit an application and be approved by the Board.  An applicant for approval must submit an application and information regarding how they will guarantee the security of the prescription; the practitioner's identity and privacy; and the patient's identity, privacy, and confidentiality.

EDI Application
List of Approved EDIs

What is an electronic signature?
An electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with an electronically transmitted prescription that is adopted by a person, who intends to sign the electronic prescription. 

Can controlled substances be electronically transmitted?
IC 35-48-3-9 was updated to allow electronic prescribing of controlled substances, to follow federal law
.  In order to electronically prescribe controlled substances, some of the major DEA requirements prescribers must adhere to include:

  • Use of an e-prescribing application that is certified for this purpose.
  • Completion of a compliant identity-proofing process.
  • Use of a secure, two-factor authentication process to sign prescriptions for controlled substances.

A pharmacy cannot process electronic prescriptions for controlled substances until its pharmacy application provider obtains a third party audit or certification review that determines that the application complies with DEA's requirements and the application provider provides the audit/certification report to the pharmacy.  

For more information regarding the DEA's requirements for electronically prescribing and/or processing controlled substances, please visit the DEA's website at http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/ecomm/e_rx/index.html.

Is a prescription that is sent via computer to a pharmacy's fax considered an electronic prescription?
No.  A faxed prescription has requirements set out in 856 IAC 1-31-1; a faxed prescription must also meet the requirements of IC 16-42-22

If you have any questions, please contact the Pharmacy Board at pla4@pla.IN.gov.