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Partners HealthCare Launches Epic EHR-Integrated PDMP Connection

Partners HealthCare is the first health system in Massachussetts to enable EHR integration with the state’s PDMP database.

Partners HealthCare is the first health system in Massachusetts to launch an EHR-integrated PDMP link.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- Boston-based Partners HealthCare recently became the first health system in Massachussetts to offer an EHR-integrated link to the state’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP.)

The health system fully integrated with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Prescription Awareness Tool (MassPAT) to offer clinicians access to complete controlled substance information at the point of care.

Clinicians can utilize the common platform to monitor opioid prescriptions without the added administrative burden of logging into multiple windows to access prescription data.

“A critical piece of helping to prevent over-prescription of opioids is ensuring that providers have an accurate picture of patients’ prescription history, and MassPAT is an integral part of the Commonwealth’s strategy to support and connect health care providers,” said Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health Monica Bharel, MD.

“Having the Partners HealthCare system fully integrated and focused on ensuring that its clinicians have access to this tool is an important advancement in our collective efforts to curb the opioid epidemic,” Bharel continued.

Massachusetts imposes a seven-day limit on first-time prescriptions of opioids and requires all prescribers to check the state’s PDMP before prescribing Schedule II or Schedule III controlled substances.

By integrating a connection to the state’s PDMP directly into its Epic EHR, Partners will enable providers to view their patient’s controlled substance information within their clinical workflows.

“We’re arming our providers with more robust, point-of-care access to the state’s prescription drug monitoring program to support safe and responsible treatment of pain, and to better manage substance use disorder,” said Thomas Sequist, MD, Chief Quality and Safety Officer at Partners HealthCare.

“By viewing a patient’s prescription information in MassPAT, Partners’ providers are better informed about their patient’s medication use, can avoid duplication of drug therapies and can coordinate care by communicating with other prescribers to improve clinical outcomes,” Sequist added.

More than two-thirds of the Massachusetts residents who died from opioid-related overdoses between 2011 and 2014 were legally prescribed opioids at some point during that three-year span.

Enabling providers to easily access PDMP information may help to reduce the likelihood that patients will abuse opioids in the future. Partners providers will have access to PDMP data and analytics within their EHR and pharmacy management system workflows.

The Commonwealth of Massachussetts has a statewide license to use Appriss Health for its PMP Gateway solution. The platform allows providers to access PDMP data, resources, and other insights to enable better-informed clinical decision making.

Partners HealthCare was founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital and offers patients a continuum of coordinated and high-quality care. The health system includes two academic medical centers, community and specialty hospitals, a managed care organization, a physician network, community health centers, and home health and long-term care services.

Other states that have recently enabled EHR-integrated PDMP connections include North Carolina.

In late 2018, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services leveraged Appriss Health’s PMP Gateway integration services to allow providers to access NarxCare and information from the state’s PDMP within the EHR workflow.

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.

Reducing administrative burden associated with EHR use is key to boosting the effectiveness and efficiency of PDMP use.

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