- The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is taking steps to promote safer prescribing practices across the state by enabling EHR integration of prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data.
NCDHHS will leverage Appriss Health’s PMP Gateway integration service to offer providers access to NarxCare and information from the state’s PDMP, the North Carolina Controlled Substance Reporting System (CSRS).
Enabling EHR integration of updated controlled substance data will equip prescribers and pharmacists across the state with the necessary information to make better-informed prescribing decisions.
PMP Gateway allows users to integrate Appriss Health’s NarxCare platform and state PDMP data directly into EHR systems, pharmacy management systems, and other health IT systems.
“We are committed to doing everything possible to address North Carolina’s opioid epidemic,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD. “I encourage prescribers and pharmacies to take advantage of these tools, which can save lives by identifying patients in need of treatment.”
NarxCare analyzes and presents data from the state’s PDMP to allow clinicians to more easily identify patients potentially at risk for substance use disorder or overdose. The health IT solution offers clinicians tools, analytics, and insights directly within clinical workflows.
The tool also leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence-based patient risk scores and other data in visually-interactive formats to prescribers and pharmacists with clinical decision support.
NarxCare also allows clinicians to connect patients that may be struggling with opioid overuse or substance abuse disorder with resources available within their community, such as medication-assisted treatment options.
“We commend the state and public health officials in North Carolina for all that they have done this year to help confront and control the opioid epidemic,” said Appriss Health President Rob Cohen.
“It is clear that access to information and insights will continue to be a powerful asset in the fight against drug addiction, and improving the careful management, care, and treatment for those who need it most,” he added.
Ensuring prescribers have one-click access to state PDMP data reduces administrative burden on providers by eliminating the need for prescribers to manually log into the PDMP’s website separately.
Reducing the administrative burden associated with EHR use is necessary to boosting the efficiency and effectiveness of PDMP use. According to a 2018 JAMA Surgery study, providers without one-click access to PDMP data spend an average of 13 minutes per patient to complete PDMP queries, risk calculator processes, and required institutional informed consent processes.
The NCDHHS will equip prescribers with the tools to help clinicians more easily identify when there may be a potential problem with doctor shopping or opioid overuse. The tool alerts clinicians to respond to potential problems.
NCDHHS manages the delivery of health and human-related services for all North Carolina residents, particularly vulnerable citizens including children, the elderly, the disabled, and low income families.
The department works closely with healthcare professionals, community leaders, advocacy groups, as well as local, state and federal entities to meet the needs of various patient populations.
EHR integration of PMDP data is becoming increasingly common across the country as state and federal entities attempt to address the opioid crisis.
This summer, CMS Acting Director Tim Hill called upon state Medicaid programs to improve EHR integration of PDMP data to reduce provider burden and allow healthcare organizations to more easily track patient information related to opioid use.
Hill encouraged states to seek enhanced federal funding to build PDMPs or enhance PDMP functionality, boost interstate health data exchange, and improve EHR integration of PDMP data.