Prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) is an electronic database, which is used statewide in the U.S. to assess the prescription of a controlled substance to a patient. Based on that knowledge, the health authorities are informed about the prescribing and patient behaviors, which can play a critical role in controlling the opioid epidemic affecting millions of Americans. The use of PDMPs facilitates a targeted response based on the electronic records. PDMPs are effective interventions that can be used to keep a check on opioid prescribing rates, change prescribing patterns and protect at-risk patients. Some of the other benefits of using PDMPs are listed hereunder:
1. Universal tool
PDMPs are a one-stop resource of all the information related to a patient and the history of opioid prescriptions. States where it is mandatory for the physicians to check the databases can benefit hugely by avoiding over-prescribing of the controlled substance.
2. Real-time usage
The pharmacists are required to feed the databases the moment they dispense a prescription drug to a patient. But often, different pharmacists take different amount of time to do the needful — few hours, days and even weeks — which might defeat the purpose of using these databases. Hence, real-time data entry can maximize the usage and ensure patient safety.
3. Active management
PDMPs can be actively used by the state health authorities to create reports regarding actual prescription dispensing and usage. They can further alert the authorized database users about the unseemly prescription trends and vulnerable patient population, and evaluate interventions accordingly.
4. User-friendly database
States using PDMPs have taken several steps to streamline the procedure of registration. The data entry has been made smooth by allowing the physicians to delegate the use to the junior doctors and nurses. Many states have facilitated the integration of PDMPs with electronic health record (EHR) as well. Regular state-level monitoring and interventions can prove helpful in discovering and implementing favorable practices.
Preventing misuse of opioid prescriptions
The opioid epidemic necessitates a multipronged approach from all quarters and PDMP is one of the promising approaches. Despite humongous efforts from state and federal officials, overdose deaths have seen a sharp rise. In such dire circumstances, proper use of PDMP can save many lives. However, multiple improvements for better outcomes are warranted such as prompt data entry, connectivity and awareness. These parameters can be implemented by disseminating information at the right time, and imparting regular and updated training to health care providers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for incorrect usage of opioids. The agency also reports that more than 183,000 people succumbed to prescription opioid overdoses between 1999-2015. Users must be extremely careful while using them since long-term use can lead to addiction with other negative consequences, such as financial obligations, poor physical and psychological health, strained personal and social relationships, problems at work, homelessness and even death.
If you or your loved one is addicted to a prescription opioid or any other drug, it is time to seek help from professionals. The Prescription Drug Abuse Helpline can help you find some of the finest prescription drug abuse treatment centers near you. Call us at our 24/7 helpline 866-450-1557 or chat online with an expert to know about the best prescription drug abuse treatment clinic in the USA.