The Department of Health (DOH) recently announced a new feature to the state’s new Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP): alerts about patients who have sought similar prescriptions from multiple practitioners. This new feature will be available in early 2013.
Currently all healthcare providers can ask for the prescription history information on patients they are treating. This improves their ability to treat these patients. In addition, DOH will start to review the data and identify situations where prescribers may want to review a patient’s controlled substance history. DOH will then alert all prescribers who have written a prescription for each patient identified.
DOH will not make any conclusions or judgments about the appropriateness of any prescription history identified. DOH will simply encourage the prescribers to review the information and make their own assessments. To receive these email notices, and to be able to access the reports, a prescriber must first register with the system. To register, visit (http://www.wapmp.org/practitioner/pharmacist/) and follow the steps in the Training Guide for Practitioners and Pharmacists posted there.
The email notice will come directly from the Prescription Review system. It will give the patient’s name, date of birth, and a sequence number for a report of the prescriptions they received. A prescriber can then log-in to their account and review the report.
PMP electronically collects information on controlled substances prescribed and dispensed and gives prescribers a tool to make better-informed prescribing decisions by helping identify unsafe medication regimens, especially with patients who see multiple prescribers. DOH is encouraging providers to use this new system to provide improved patient care and help prevent prescription drug misuse and abuse.
Practitioners may request prescription history reports for their patients from the program. The information is available online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, anywhere a user has Internet access. Prescribers can also delegate authority for requesting information to other licensed health professionals working for them. Information on how to assign delegates is available online in the PMP user guide.
DOH’s program website (www.doh.wa.gov/hsqa/PMP/default.htm) provides more information and an option to receive updates through a listserv. You can also contact PMP Director Chris Baumgartner at 360-236-4806 (firstname.lastname@example.org).