A new pilot program launched by the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will make prescription drug data available to prescribers and pharmacists in both ambulatory and emergency departments in Indiana and Ohio. The pilot projects, which will be run by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), will measure how expanding prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), as the government refers to them, will help reduce prescription drug abuse.
Farzad Mostashari, MD, national coordinator for Health Information Technology (Health IT), said that the pilot projects will help emergency department staff identify a patient’s controlled substance history “at the point of care, to enable better targeting appropriate treatments and reduce the potential of an overdose, or even death.”
“Technology plays a critical role in our comprehensive efforts to address our nation’s prescription drug abuse epidemic,” said Gil Kerlikowske, director of The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), in a press statement issued June 21 as the programs were launched. “We hope these innovative pilots will help usher in an era of ‘PDMPs 2.0’ across the nation,” he said. The goals are to improve real-time data sharing, increase interoperability among states, and increase the number of people using PDMPs.