Use of prescription drug-monitoring programs (PDMPs) has increased significantly in recent years, but information gaps remain, a problem that new AMA policy adopted at the 2017 AMA Annual Meeting seeks to address. …

“Use will go up when they become more useful tools,” Dr. McAneny (@BarbaraMcAneny) said while presenting a Board of Trustees report to the reference committee.

 

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Prescribing or dispensing to an abuser, diverter, misuser or ‘doctor shopper’ puts the provider, their practice and or institution, as well as the patients at high risk.

Although relieving pain and reducing suffering are primary emergency physician responsibilities, there is a concurrent duty to limit the personal and societal harm that can result from prescription drug misuse and abuse.

ACEP Annals of Emergency Medicine 525

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.

Design
Qualitative data were collected through online focus groups and telephone interviews.

Setting
Clinicians from pain management, emergency and family medicine, psychiatry/behavioral health, rehabilitation medicine, internal medicine and dentistry participated.

Patients
Thirty-five clinicians from nine states participated.

Methods
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.

Results
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.

Conclusion
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.

Pain Medicine, Volume 15, Issue 7, July 2014 
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