Product Spotlight: PharMEDium's Electronic 222 Ordering Initiative

September 2008 - Vol. 5 No. 9

Also, because these orders were processed by mail, anytime we had a problem with our form, there was the additional delay of redoing the form and mailing it a second time. When our purchaser was on vacation, the problems with the manual form became very evident. Not only was it a hassle to fill out the form, but we also had to redo it quite often, with each resubmission resulting in a further delay.

At our facility, we fill out approximately three to four DEA222 Forms per week. Because each form takes about 20 minutes to fill out, we were spending an hour to an hour and a half on these forms each week. Given our dissatisfaction with the paper process, we were happy to work with PharMEDium this past November on their electronic 222 ordering initiative pilot project,or the e-222.

The Solution

Our first step in switching to electronic ordering was to go to the DEA’s Controlled Substance Ordering System (CSOS) website ( ), which is very helpful in walking you through the process.You can download the required forms here to enroll with the DEA, in order to receive your CSOS certificate. Our next step was to load the certificate and the ordering software onto our pharmacy computer. Because the process was so straightforward, we went live the next month.

The CSOS certificate serves as a digital signature. To submit an order, we simply attach the certificate to the order, enter our password, and send the order to PharMEDium. The certificate is password locked,so only the staff members with power of attorney to sign for controlled substances have password access. While several people in our department do purchasing, once they complete the electronic ordering portion, one of us logs in with our password, attaches the certificate, and then sends the order to PharMEDium. It is that simple.


Using e-222 is much simpler; once we fill out the order form, it takes about 10 seconds to attach the certificate and send the order.We have also shortened our lead-time for ordering, as we no longer lose two days in the mail. Resubmissions are reduced because we have fewer typos using the electronic form. In addition, we can track the status of our order via PharMEDium’s website. A formerly onerous process is now completely streamlined.

PharMEDium has been very helpful throughout the process. They have met with us several times to walk through the process to see if they could make any improvements for us. It has been a very positive experience overall. ■

Kelly Becicka, PharmD, serves as both an inpatient pharmacy supervisor and IT analyst at Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital in Minneapolis,Minnesota. He earned a PharmD and BS in pharmacy from the University of Minnesota.


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