How Healthcare IT Can Work with PDMPs to Improve Patient Safety

Helping physicians gain complete vision into a patient’s medication history — especially for controlled substances — is just as much about ensuring patient safety as it is adding clinical workflow efficiencies. Creating safety nets for both physicians and patients is a critical part of the MEDHOST mission. During Patient Safety Awareness Week (March 8 – 14) and all throughout the year we salute those taking steps to make the healthcare journey more secure.

To drive patient safety awareness, we’re sharing a quick snapshot of the current PDMP (Prescription Drug Monitoring Program) landscape. Alongside the review is an overview on how healthcare technologies, like ePCS (electronic prescription of controlled substances) can work in partnership with state agencies to create safeguards for both patients and providers.

A Quick Look at America’s PDMP Network

Currently, 49 states offer their healthcare providers access to a PDMP. Legislation like the SUPPORT (Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment) for Patients and Communities Act and CMS Clinical Quality Measures for the Safe Use of Opioids are also good examples of the federal government helping push for PDMP standardization.

Evidence points to progress in the battle against controlled substance abuse through HIT integrations. However, when patients and their data begin to cross state lines, things become a bit trickier.

The Challenge of PDMP Standardization

An extensive state PDMP network has the ability to reinforce patient safety and help reduce potential for controlled substance abuse. An ongoing barrier to optimizing nationwide application of PDMPs is a lack in standardization from state to state.

While most states have a PDMP, when patients cross state lines, access and usage of that patient’s medication data can vary. An article in Healthcare IT News notes that when “out-of-state” individuals present at a hospital, prescribers may only have a fraction of that patient’s medication history.

How MEDHOST Helps Improve Patient Safety

Access to accurate prescription information is a critical part of ensuring patient safety and reducing controlled substance abuse. Physicians can more easily view and share complete patient medication histories when varying patient data systems work together.

While progress towards improved PDMP standardization is being made, healthcare IT providers also have a role to play by driving improved PDMP integrations.

Improved access to clinical decision support tools like a PDMP has benefits for both physicians and patients. The MEDHOST EHR solution includes a secure ePCS application and allows facilities to create custom links to state PDMPs.

Offering links to PDMPs helps reduce clinical workflow interruptions. When physicians can easily identify at-risk individuals, patients are less likely to be placed in dangerous situations. In addition to quick links to state PDMPs, authorized individuals can also use MEDHOST ePCS to run reports on controlled substance prescriptions.

Accuracy in clinical decision support tools ranks amongst the top patient safety concerns for today’s hospitals. Coupled with the growing rate of prescription opioid abuse, there is an even greater need for patient health data that offers clinicians more useful insights.

Patient safety is a priority for hospitals and the government, which means it is a focus for MEDHOST. MEDHOST is committed to further development of ePCS and other EHR solutions that not only support clinical workflows, but also help hospitals meet regulatory requirements and keep their patients protected.

Learn more about MEDHOST ePCS and how our enterprise healthcare IT solutions support patient safety awareness. Call us at 1.800.383.6278.

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