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Federal Opioid Commission Seeks PDMP Health Data Exchange

A federal commission advises POTUS to encourage more health data exchange between PDMPs and hospitals for improved prescription drug monitoring.

Health Data Exchange

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and Opioid Crisis published an interim report requesting President Trump encourage state and federal prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) to participate in health data exchange for improved patient-specific prescription data tracking.

Improving patient-specific prescription data tracking would support regional law enforcement in cases of controlled substance diversion, the commission wrote.

The commission also requested President Trump work to ensure federal healthcare systems such as VA participate in state-based PDMP health data exchange.

Report authors emphasized the usefulness of PDMPs in providing information regarding controlled substances for patient substance abuse monitoring.

The state-run databases offer providers access to their patients comprehensive controlled substance prescription histories, which providers can use to identify and monitor patients at a particularly high risk of misusing prescription drugs such as opioids.

Likewise, PDMPs can also be used to monitor providers likely to have lenient prescribing and dispensing practices. The databases have been utilized by licensing boards to find clinicians that show signs of frequently overprescribing or inappropriately dispensing controlled substances.

“Numerous professional health organizations, including the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), agree that PDMPs are an effective and important clinical tool to combat the addiction crisis,” authors wrote.  

According to the report, 49 states now have operational PDMPs but far less than half are actively exchanging that information with hospitals and provider organizations.

As such, the commission requests the Administration require VA and HHS to spearhead the effort to ensure all state and federal PDMP databases are engaged in health data exchange with hospitals and provider organizations by July 1, 2018.

“In addition to sharing data between states and the federal government, the PDMP needs to be improved with regard to its ease of use, and inclusion of other data to assist prescribing doctors,” wrote the commission. “Ideally, clinicians should check their state PDMP before making the decision to prescribe either an opioid or benzodiazepine (several states already have this requirement in place), determine whether their patient has had an overdose, and other relevant information that can be summarized into categories of high to low risk.”

Indiana hospital integrates PDMP data into patient EHRs

Deaconess Health System in Indiana is already working to integrate PDMP information into patient EHRs.

With the help of substance abuse platform vendor Appriss Health, the six-hospital health system will gain access to data, analytics, tools, and resources from PDMPs within clinical workflows in real-time and at the point of care.

Appriss Health’s PMP Gateway will give providers easy, immediate access to prescription health information during patient encounters to improve patient safety and health outcomes through better informed prescription decisions.

“Deaconess has taken a major step towards ensuring the best standard of care for its patients,” said President of Appriss Health Rob Cohen. “We applaud them for taking a proactive approach to becoming the first health system in Indiana to deploy clinical workflow integration of PDMP data and clinical decision support solutions for substance use disorder directly within their EHR.”

Previously, clinicians were required to log into a different system to retrieve a patient’s controlled substance history from the Indiana state database INSPECT and cross-reference the information with a patient’s EHR.

Integrating PDMP information directly into patient EHRs significantly streamlines and simplifies this process.

“At Deaconess, we are committed to the prevention of prescription drug misuse and abuse in our patient population,” said Director of Medical Affairs and Emergency Medicine at Deaconess Dr. Gina Huhnke, “Integrating INSPECT information into daily workflow ensures prescribers at Deaconess will more often, and more easily, access this valuable prescription monitoring data to make better informed clinical decisions to better ensure patient safety. We look forward to working with the State of Indiana and Appriss Health on these important efforts.”

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