Opioid Prescribing after Implementation of Single Click Access to a State Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Database in a Health System's Electronic Health Record

Pain Med. 2021 Feb 9;pnab051. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnab051. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Objectives: To determine the effect of one-click integration of a state's prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) on the number of PDMP searches and opioid prescriptions, stratified by specialty.

Methods: Our large health system worked with the state department of public health to integrate the PDMP with the electronic health record (EHR), which enabled providers to query the data with a single click inside the EHR environment. We evaluated Schedule II or III opioid prescriptions reported to the Massachusetts PDMP 6 months before (November 15, 2017-May 15, 2018) and 6 months after (May 16, 2018-November 16, 2018) integration. Search counts, prescriptions, patients, morphine milligram equivalents as well as prescriber specialty were compared.

Results: There were 3,185 unique prescribers with a record of a Schedule II and/or III opioid prescription in both study periods that met inclusion criteria. After integration, the number of PDMP searches increased from 208,684 in the pre-integration phase to 298,478 searches in the post-integration phase (+43.0%). The number of opioid prescriptions dispensed decreased by 4.8%, the number of patients receiving a prescription decreased by 5.1%, and the mean morphine milligram equivalents (MMEs) per prescriber decreased by 5.4%. There were some notable specialty-specific differences in these measures.

Conclusions: Integration of the PDMP into the EHR markedly increased the number of searches but was associated with modest decreases in opioids prescribed and patients receiving a prescription. Single click EHR integration of the PDMP, if implemented broadly, may be a way for states to significantly increase PDMP utilization.

Keywords: opioids; prescription drug monitoring programs; prescriptions.