Study objective: Ohio recently instituted an online prescription monitoring program, the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS), to monitor controlled substance prescriptions within Ohio. This study is undertaken to identify the influence of OARRS data on clinical management of emergency department (ED) patients with painful conditions.
Methods: This prospective quasiexperimental study was conducted at the University of Toledo Medical Center Emergency Department during June to July 2008. Eligible participants included ED patients with painful conditions. Patients with acute injuries were excluded. After clinical evaluation, and again after presentation of OARRS data, providers answered a set of questions about anticipated pain prescription for the patient. Outcome measures included changes in opioid prescription and other potential factors that influenced opioid prescription.
Results: Among 179 participants, OARRS data revealed high numbers of narcotics prescriptions filled in the most recent 12 months (median 7; range 0 to 128). Numerous providers prescribed narcotics for patients (median 3 per patient; range 0 to 40). Patients had filled narcotics prescriptions at different pharmacies (mean [SD] 3.5 [4.4]). Eighteen providers are represented in the study. Four providers treated 63% (N=114) of the patients in the study. After review of the OARRS data, providers changed the clinical management in 41% (N=74) of cases. In cases of altered management, the majority (61%; N=45) resulted in fewer or no opioid medications prescribed than originally planned, whereas 39% (N=29) resulted in more opioid medication than previously planned.
Conclusion: The use of data from a statewide narcotic registry frequently altered prescribing behavior for management of ED patients with complaints of nontraumatic pain.
Copyright 2009 American College of Emergency Physicians. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.