Commentary: Interstate PMP Data-Sharing Technologies Assist States, Health Care Providers in Protecting Patient Health
With nearly half of state prescription monitoring programs (PMPs) sharing data via the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy® (NABP®) PMP InterConnect® program, the system is successfully helping states in their efforts to protect patient health and lower rates of prescription drug abuse and diversion. Since its launch in July 2011, the NABP InterConnect program has enabled participating state PMPs to quickly and securely share information about controlled substance prescriptions across state lines while ensuring individual state rules are enforced. Currently 21 states are sharing data, with Nevada and Idaho expected to go live soon.
To encourage use of PMP data by health care providers, NABP and several NABP InterConnect participants have piloted projects to add seamless integration of PMP data into the workflow of health care providers in multiple environments.
In 2012, NABP partnered with Indiana Health Information Exchange on behalf of Indiana’s PMP to create a pilot that enabled prescribers in the emergency department at Wishard Memorial Hospital to automatically access PMP data, streamlining the process. The pilot was extended through June 2013, and recent data has correlated the electronic health record integration with a drop in doctor shopping in the first six months of 2013 compared to that same period in 2012.
NABP completed work on a similar pilot with Michigan’s PMP – another NABP InterConnect participant – that successfully made PMP data more readily available to physicians and other authorized users in the general practitioner setting. In Michigan’s pilot, e-prescribing company DrFirst connected to the NABP InterConnect hub the same way a state PMP would, thus allowing authorized prescribers to access PMP data through the e-prescribing system without the additional step of logging into the PMP. Following the success of these programs, NABP is currently working with 14 additional states to develop similar integration-centric programs.
Even as growing state participation and the success of workflow integration projects illustrate the high demand for interstate PMP data, challenges remain in expanding access to data. In some cases, a state’s processes or laws may prevent or prohibit the sharing of data with another state’s PMP. Laws on who can access data, for example, may differ from state to state. Such limitations lead to situations like that in Louisiana, where information is only shared with four states, while its neighbor, Mississippi, may share with 20. Such issues must be addressed through state legislative processes and, thus, will take time to resolve.
Additional information on the NABP InterConnect program, including the most up-to-date information about state participation, is available in the programs section of the NABP Web site.
Carmen A. Catizone, MS, RPh, DPh
Executive Director/Secretary, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
NABP is the independent, international, and impartial Association that assists its state member boards and jurisdictions in developing, implementing, and enforcing uniform standards for the purpose of protecting the public health.