Embracing Change

My cat knows computer




Kicking, screaming, and whining, I entered the 21st century today.

Thanks to my long-suffering fiancé, we started electronic prescribing in my office. It went better than I feared.

A few years ago, North Carolina passed the STOP Act, which contained measures to help make the prescribing of opioids safer. One of the Act’s provisions was that by January 1, 2020, all targeted controlled substances must be prescribed electronically. The targeted substances are all Schedule II and III opioid prescriptions.

Here’s a weird thing, though: when I went back to read the text of the actual STOP Act, buprenorphine wasn’t listed as one of the targeted substances, even though it is a Schedule III opioid. But I’m erring on the side of caution. Besides, E-prescribing is a good idea. Paper prescriptions are becoming a thing of the past anyway, to my dismay.

I struggle with technology. Readers of this blog have no idea how annoyed I feel when my posts come out weird, with extra spaces and unintended placement of pictures. I’ve sworn at my laptop many times and only self-interest keeps me from hurling it against a wall. I know it’s me, accidently making unintended changes, then struggling to change back. Sometimes I must edit four or five times before it’s satisfactory. And this is on WordPress, one of the most user-friendly blog platforms around. I’m better at it now, after nine-plus years of blogging.

My fiancé did all the research for the E-prescribing software and vetted the available vendors. We set it up last week, with some difficulty.

At one point my sweetie said something that sounded to me like, “Now we need to get the verification code to authorize the pending password credentialing security code of the product.”

I looked at him, confused as my dog when I explain why our walk must be postponed until after I get home from work. “Eh…I thought we already did that step? I’m not sure what you mean.”

Patiently, he showed me on my computer.

“Oh. Now it’s asking for a password, but the one I chose isn’t working.”

“Yes but you must have used your login password and what it’s asking for there is the second tier pending security question and related password that you set up back under step sixty-three of the verification process. Do you remember what it was?”

“No. Maybe I used the dog’s name again?”

“Please don’t use the dog’s name anymore. That’s too easy to hack. So is your date of birth.”

“Oh. I know! I could use my social security number as my password!”

For some reason, Greg did a facepalm and shook his head slowly.

“OK. I’ll invent a new one. But it’s very hard to remember all of these. You know I have passwords for Methasoft, the prescription monitoring program, the ASAM website, the ABAM website, work email, home email, the OTP exception website, login at work, Ebay, the bank, Paypal, Amazon, ETSY…. “

“I thought I showed you how to store them in your Identity Safe.”

“Yes but I forgot the password to it, so…”

Another facepalm from Greg.

Eventually we had the software set up, though I was a little suspicious if we had done it correctly.

The next day, yesterday, was a relatively light day in my office. We used the system for six or seven of the patients, and it went relatively well. I got hung up only at the end, when I have to access a randomly generated code to type in within sixty seconds to match the system’s code that I request at the time I want to submit.

(If you don’t understand what I just wrote, don’t feel badly – I don’t either.)

I asked Greg to call the pharmacy after the first one we did, just to confirm all went well and the prescription was submitted. He called, and it was.

I felt euphoric. I did it, with some help. OK a lot of help.

Who knows what electronic field I may conquer next…maybe I’ll be able to stop losing emails.



5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Obsteve on September 8, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    In Florida we begin the same mandatory system in January. We’ve had the option or eprescribing for years and occasionally do. The problem that’s guaranteed to arise with OBOT, is the selected pharmacy won’t have the buprenorphine. What then? Calls to our office. Another selected pharmacy. Another “we don’t have it”. I will be astounded if this doesn’t happen regularly. BTW, I still have no idea what the random number generator on my verification fob does. But I do know that if you enter the wrong verification number, somehow it knows to reject the rx.


  2. Posted by Tee Marie on September 9, 2019 at 12:22 am

    Is it possible that, since you are a healthcare provider specializing in treatment of SUD, that you might be violating Part 2 by reporting to PDMP?


  3. Posted by Tom Reach on September 10, 2019 at 3:32 pm

    Soooo… do we NEED to do this for buprenorphine and/or benzos??


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