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Building on White House Initiative to Simplify Access to COVID-19 Antiviral Treatments

As the White House expands the availability of lifesaving COVID-19 treatments, providers that use Epic can locate and prescribe those treatments more effectively

When the Biden Administration launched the Test to Treat initiative in early March, it took the first step toward making COVID-19 antiviral treatments easier for patients and providers to find. Currently, patients can go to more than 2,200 Test to Treat facilities across the country to get tested for COVID-19, receive prescriptions for treatments when appropriate, and have their prescriptions filled—all under a single roof. Now, as the Biden Administration works to double the number of pharmacies that carry COVID-19 treatments, providers can use Epic to determine which pharmacies have the treatments in stock and guide patients to those pharmacies for more timely and effective care.

“While Test to Treat facilities are tremendous resources in their communities, it’s important that we account for patients who seek care in other settings,” said Jackie Gerhart, MD, vice president of clinical informatics at Epic. “Through Epic, providers can more easily connect patients to lifesaving treatments as the Administration significantly increases the number of pharmacies that carry those treatments.”

As the government has worked to increase access to COVID-19 treatments, ensuring that providers know which pharmacies have those treatments in stock has been a challenge. Three Epic enhancements mitigate that challenge and help providers connect patients with COVID-19 treatments more effectively:

  • Treatment information at a glance. Providers can focus their pharmacy searches on only those that have received COVID-19 treatments from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and have recently reported a stock of those treatments back to the HHS.
  • Warnings for unavailable prescriptions. Providers are notified before they send a prescription for a COVID-19 treatment to a pharmacy that can’t fill the order.
  • Education for providers and patients. Providers and patients can find important COVID-19 treatment information, such as FDA fact sheets, in Epic and MyChart, respectively.

“This initiative ensures that ordering providers across the nation have access to accurate and timely information about the location and availability of these treatments,” Dr. Gerhart said. “As testing and treatment strategies continue to evolve, the rapid incorporation and dissemination of information at the point of care will continue to be a critical part of the fight against COVID-19.”