Forty-eight states have created or passed laws that create prescription drug monitoring programs.
Pharmacists and sometimes physicians report each time a patient fills one of these prescriptions, a process that can help providers identify patients exhibiting signs of misuse. However, few clinicians use the databases, saying they are too cumbersome and time-consuming, the ONC said.
The pilot projects tested connecting the prescription drug monitoring programs with several different types of health IT systems, such as electronic health records, health information exchanges and pharmacy dispensing systems, in a number of healthcare settings ranging from emergency departments to clinician practices.
The results showed that incorporating the prescription drug-monitoring tools into health IT systems helped improve access among clinicians, and also led to the creation of a standards and interoperability framework for prescription drug-monitoring programs and health IT integration that would gather data about prescriptions of those controlled prescription drugs and transmit it to EHRs and HIEs.
“When we have a resource like the prescription drug monitoring program in Oklahoma that is bringing you real-time data from the pharmacies, it's a tremendous asset,” Dr. Brian Yeaman, chief medical information officer for Norman Regional Health System in Oklahoma, said in a video on the ONC's website.
Oklahoma was the first state to require pharmacies to submit controlled prescription data to a database at the point of sale.
Follow Jaimy Lee on Twitter: @MHjlee