What Is PDMP and What Does It Mean for Clinicians?

What is PDMP? Is it the same program across all 50 states? What does it mean for me as a clinician?

These are all fair questions, and whether you’re a licensed prescriber or dispenser of any controlled substance, you need to be well informed with answers and up-to-date information pertaining to your professional practice.

Read on to learn more about PDMPs and their implications for healthcare clinicians — including behavioral health professionals who are licensed to prescribe and/or administer controlled substances.

What Does PDMP Stand For?

PDMP refers to a prescription drug monitoring program. It should also be noted that in some instances the title is shortened to PMP — or prescription monitoring program.

What Is the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program?

PDMPs typically operate on a statewide level and act as electronic databases to collect and track data related to the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances.

The information on any given PDMP is stored in a highly secure fashion and can only be accessed by a limited amount of interested parties — such as licensed prescribers. PDMPs do not form a cohesive nationwide program, but typically a statewide PDMP allows a prescriber to check on the controlled substances that a patient is currently taking.

It should be clear that PDMPs are highly useful tools for dispensers and prescribers to recognize the potential abuse of opioids by their patients.

How Do PDMPs Differ for Various States?

Currently, 49 states — as well as the District of Columbia and the territory of Guam — have a functioning PDMP. Only Missouri doesn’t have a statewide PDMP. However, it appears Missouri lawmakers may be poised to pass new PDMP legislation in 2019.

With opioid abuse and subsequent overdoses reaching record levels across America, it’s no surprise that 40 states now require prescribers to check their state’s PDMP whenever prescribing a controlled substance.

However, each state’s PDMP operates in its own unique fashion. This means everything from the classes of prescription drugs that must be considered to when doctors must check their PDMP differs from state to state. For example, Pennsylvania requires that all licensed prescribers register with their PDMP and report on all Schedule II through Schedule V controlled substances, while up until recently, Nebraska’s PDMP was voluntary and only recorded data from emergency room visits.

What Does PDMP Mean for Clinicians?

Ultimately, the effective use of PDMPs helps prescribers and pharmacists make evidence-based decisions regarding the use — and possible abuse — of controlled substances by their patients. Information accessed via a PDMP can greatly influence clinicians’ decisions — including choosing whether or not to discontinue a prescription and/or improve the coordination of health care a patient is receiving.

While workflow challenges are real, the benefits of improved patient data and better lines of communication across multiple healthcare providers mean clinicians can provide better care while simultaneously reducing instances of substance abuse and overdoses.

How ICANotes Helps Clinicians With PDMP Integration

As we’ve seen, the challenges posed by PDMPs to the average clinician’s workflow are real. However, this is yet another instance when ICANotes can be of great assistance to today’s healthcare professionals.

Current statistics show that it takes an average of more than four and a half minutes to check on a patient’s prescriptions via a PDMP. With ICANotes offering PDMP integration via DrFirst EPCS Gold, that time is reduced to one and a half minutes. That’s a 67 percent time savings for providers who are already burdened with packed schedules.

To be compliant with your state’s PDMP regulations while making the most of your workday, there’s only one solution. Contact ICANotes now for informed answers to all your EHR questions. If you prefer, sign up for your free trial or live demo today.


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