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The AAOS recommends the following tools, which have been shown to significantly reduce medication errors:
- computerized physician order entry
- computerized decision support systems
- computerized monitoring of adverse drug events
- pharmacist-assisted rounds
- high-risk drug protocols
Overdose deaths are “just the tip of the iceberg”: that for every death there are many more hospital treatment admissions, emergency room visits, people who abuse or are dependent on prescription drugs and nonmedical users.
Recommendations for full use of PDMP include:
- PDMPs can be effective clinical tools in medication management involving controlled substances.
- PDMPs should be available for clinicians across state boundaries.
- Every prescribing clinician should be familiar with the process of accessing and utilizing information from PDMP’s so that they can incorporate this information in their practices.
Always check the medical record… and a prescription drug monitoring database.
Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) are now active in most states to assist clinicians in identifying potential controlled drug misuse, diversion, or excessive prescribing. Little is still known about the ways in which they are incorporated into workflow and clinical decision making, what barriers continue to exist, and how clinicians are sharing PDMP results with their patients.
Qualitative data were collected through online focus groups and telephone interviews.
Clinicians from pain management, emergency and family medicine, psychiatry/behavioral health, rehabilitation medicine, internal medicine and dentistry participated.
Thirty-five clinicians from nine states participated.
We conducted two online focus groups and seven telephone interviews. A multidisciplinary team then used a grounded theory approach coupled with an immersion–crystallization strategy for identifying key themes in the resulting transcripts.
Some participants, mainly from pain clinics, reported checking the PDMP with every patient, every time. Others checked only for new patients, for new opioid prescriptions, or for patients for whom they suspected abuse. Participants described varied approaches to sharing PDMP information with patients, including openly discussing potential addiction or safety concerns, avoiding discussion altogether, and approaching discussion confrontationally. Participants described patient anger or denial as a common response and noted the role of patient satisfaction surveys as an influence on prescribing.
Routines for accessing PDMP data and how clinicians respond to it vary widely. As PDMP use becomes more widespread, it will be important to understand what approaches are most effective for identifying and addressing unsafe medication use.
PDMPs have many limitations in their current format, including complex access issues, timeliness, and whether the data are presented to the physician automatically or require physician effort to retrieve.
The CDC advises providers to use PDMPs… States should consider ways to increase their use … available real-time, and alerts to prescribers.
The use of PDMPs…is helping to reduce misuse of prescription drugs.
Emergency Physicians must balance under-treatment of pain with concerns about drug diversion and doctor shopping. Use of a state PDMP may help identify patients who are at high risk for prescription opioid diversion or doctor shopping… To quantify the effects of PDMPs, studies were conducted of ED providers who cared for adult patients with pain. Of the patients with complete data in one study, information from the state’s PDMP System altered prescribing practice in 41%. Knowledge of the information provided had an important impact.
In 2012, both New York and Tennessee required prescribers to check their state’s PDMP before prescribing painkillers.
The results one year later:
New York realized a 75% drop and Tennessee a 36% drop in patients who were seeing multiple prescribers to obtain the same drugs.
Use of a state PDMP may help identify patients who are at high risk for diversion or doctor shopping… To quantify the effects of PDMPs, studies were conducted of ED providers who cared for adult patients with pain. Of the patients with complete data in one study, information from the state’s PDMP System altered prescribing practice in 41%.