Using PDMP to Combat the Opioid Epidemic in Michigan

It’s difficult to find a part of the United States that hasn’t been touched by the opioid addiction epidemic. According to the most recent available Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, more than 33,000 people died of opioid overdoses (either prescription drugs or heroin) in 2015. What’s more, each day approximately 91 Americans die of opioid overdoses. Now, Michigan is seeking to better help health care providers spot at-risk patients by integrating MAPS, the state’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP), with the electronic health records (EHR) systems of hospitals throughout the state. As first reported by Fierce Healthcare and others, the state is planning to roll out the new initiative with the support of both federal and state funding. As Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley told Crain’s Detroit Business, officials are optimistic that the PDMP’s “full integration into health systems, physician groups and pharmacies” will help “stem or reverse the addiction and overdose problem” in the state.

PDMPs, the CDC explains, are “state-run electronic databases used to track the prescribing and dispensing of controlled prescription drugs to patients.” For prescribers and pharmacists, they can provide valuable information on the drugs that a patient has already been prescribed, as well as on the potential for drug abuse; having access to this information can also allow for early intervention with at-risk patients. Integrating Michigan’s PDMP with hospitals’ EHR systems will save health care providers from having to manually log into the program—a step that many, as it stands, aren’t taking. Per Crain’s, only about 28 percent of providers are currently utilizing MAPS; however, officials believe that that number could rise as high as 80 percent with EHR integration.

Doctors have previously advocated for the integration of EHRs and PDMPs, noting that it would make the monitoring program more effective by facilitating its usage. Last year, for example, as Fierce Healthcare reported at the time, two Yale School of Medicine faculty members cited study results that showed providers changed prescribing habits once they had access to patient data from a PDMP. And in Michigan, some are cheering the state’s new MAPS EHR integration initiative. “If the data is accessible, easily accessible, and doesn’t take time, every provider I know is happy to use it,” said Dr. Rami Khoury, M.D., an emergency medicine physician at Henry Ford Allegiance in Jackson, Michigan, in an interview with Providers oppose, however, mandating the use of MAPS for all providers. As Michigan State Medical Society President-Elect Betty Chu told Crain’s, “Making [the system] easier to use by integrating into EMRs, we are happy about that.” At the same time, she worries that requiring MAPS usage would be overly burdensome and potentially “contribute to physician burnout.” According to Chu, the Medical Society is currently working with legislators to address that issue and others related to MAPS.

Click here to read the Fierce Healthcare article on the Michigan PDMP/EHR initiative.

Click here to read the article on the PDMP/EHR initiative from Crain’s Detroit Business.



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