On Thursday, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT announced a new initiative aimed at curbing prescription drug misuse by making it easier for health care providers and pharmacists to access patients' prescription drug histories, Reuters reports (Ebrahim, Reuters, 6/21).
The initiative, which will involve pilot projects in Indiana and Ohio, will evaluate the effects of expanding electronic prescription drug monitoring programs (Mosquera, Government Health IT, 6/21).
HHS' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is providing funding for the pilot projects (Goedert, Health Data Management, 6/21).
The Indiana-based pilot project will test a system that allows emergency department staff to access a patient's prescription drug history through the Regenstrief Medical Record System.
Participants in the Indiana project include:
- Appriss, a technology company;
- The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy; and
- The state of Indiana.
The Ohio-based pilot project will test whether incorporating a drug risk indicator into a patient's electronic health record affects clinical decisions.
Participants in the Ohio project include:
- Eagle Software, which provides software for tracking prescription drug use;
- Mitre, a not-for-profit engineering firm;
- The Springfield Center for Family Medicine (Barr, Modern Healthcare, 6/21); and
- The state of Ohio (Health Data Management, 6/21).
Reaction From AMA
American Medical Association President-elect Ardis Hoven in a statement praised ONC's new initiative to combat prescription drug misuse.
Hoven said, "When properly constructed and operated, prescription drug-monitoring programs can be a key tool for physicians to use in combating prescription drug abuse while ensuring patients get the treatment they need for pain and suffering" (Modern Healthcare, 6/21).