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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.
Attention to patterns of prescription requests and the prescribing of opioids as part of an ongoing relationship between a patient and a healthcare provider can decrease the risk of diversion. Periodic review of state PDMP, where available, is also a useful tool to monitor compliance. Evaluation should initially include…a drug history… Documentation is essential.
Thirteen multi-state PDMP projects were sponsored in 2012-13. While providers indicated that PDMPs gave them more confidence for prescribing pain medication, the study concluded that the easier the data is to obtain, the more they will be used, and the safer the practice can be.
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.
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.
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.
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%.
Whenever possible, orthopaedic surgeons should request and review old medical records and speak with the patient’s primary physician about past medication problems. Currently, states have Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs designed to assist law enforcement in the identification of doctor shoppers; these data are also accessible to physicians.
Effective monitoring systems [PDMPs] will augment clinical judgment, provide evidence of misuse, and facilitate prescription of the most appropriate analgesic for the situation…The Emergency Department is regarded as the nation’s safety net…the last bastion of around-the-clock access to care … Unfortunately, some of the solutions to opioid misuse [limiting ED physicians to 3-day opioid prescriptions] preempts judgments from trained emergency medical providers.
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.