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DrFirst Chief Strategy and Privacy Officer Testifies Before ONC Hearing on Trusted Identity of Physicians in Cyberspace

July 31, 2012

Rockville, MD, July 31, 2012

DrFirst Chief Strategy and Privacy Officer, Thomas E. Sullivan, M.D., testified this month before an Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) hearing on identity proofing solutions for electronic prescribing of controlled substances. The topic of the hearing was “Sharing Trusted Identities in Cyberspace.”

Dr. Sullivan’s belief, expressed in his statement to the ONC, is that after the state or federal licensing of a healthcare provider has been completed and once a government approved standard identity-proofing process has been implemented within an organization, clinicians need to successfully meet the requirements only once. Then there need only be administrative processes in place to share this identity appropriately. Dr. Sullivan stated, “I believe physicians and selected other clinical providers are among the most highly credentialed and authenticated professionals in our society.”

Dr. Sullivan told the hearing panel, “Everyone knows the first rule of medicine is: ‘Primum non nocere’ which is translated from the Latin to mean ‘First, do no harm’.” Dr. Sullivan indicated the second rule of medicine should be: “Secundo, tardus ne me” meaning “Second, don’t slow me down.”

Through his work with DrFirst, the nation’s leading e-prescribing and solutions platform provider, Dr. Sullivan has become a national expert and resource on the process of physician identity proofing. Dr. Sullivan and DrFirst, in cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, participated in a three-year pilot project designed to establish a program to electronically prescribe controlled substances. The pilot operated under a DEA waiver and was completed in the fall of 2011. DrFirst now offers EPCS GoldSM 2.0, a platform solution for EHR and HIS vendors to provide electronic prescribing of controlled substances.

Both Dr. Sullivan and Peter N. Kaufman, M.D., DrFirst’s chief medical officer, answered questions from the hearing panel following the testimony.

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