Sunday, June 24, 2012

HHS to Test Two Pilots

Existing prescription drug use data will be available to providers and pharmacists when treating patients in ambulatory and emergency departments through two new pilot programs launched by the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT. The pilot projects to take place in Indiana and Ohio will measure how to expand and improve access to Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP).

PDMPs are statewide electronic databases designed to be used as a tool by healthcare providers to identify and intervene in cases of potential prescription drug abuse. The databases collect, monitor, and analyze electronically transmitted prescribing and dispensing data submitted by pharmacies and dispensing practitioners.

PDMPs collect a considerable amount of useful information but many states are not using the databases enough. Improving real-time access to the information contained in the PDMPs will provide an incentive to healthcare providers to use the program. So far, 49 states either have legislation authorizing PDMPs or have active programs.

The pilot project in Indiana will demonstrate how emergency department staff can receive a patient’s controlled substance prescription history directly through the Regenstrief Medical Record System, a care management system used by Wishard Health Services, a community health system in Indianapolis and at other hospitals.

The project is a collaborative effort between ONC, Regenstrief, Wishard, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, Appriss Inc., and the State of Indiana. In some states, emergency departments are responsible for almost 25 percent of all controlled substance prescriptions.

The Ohio pilot project will test the impact of having a drug risk indicator in the EHR and how that affects clinical decision making. The Ohio project is a collaborative effort with the Springfield Center for Family Medicine, Eagle Software Corporation’s NARxCHECK, the State of Ohio, and MITRE.

“The PDMP pilot projects will help hospital staff identify a patient’s controlled substance history at the point-of-care to better target appropriate treatments and reduce the potential of an overdose or even death,” said Farzad Mostashari, M.D. National Coordinator for Health IT.

The project is funded by SAMSHA within HHS and managed by ONC in collaboration with SAMSHA, CDC and the ONDCP. For more information, go to