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State prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP) should use advances in health information technology to make the systems easier to use, according to a new government report. The programs should incorporate prescription drug monitoring data into the workflow of doctors and pharmacists, recommends the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).

The report makes a number of recommendations to increase use of the systems. These include requiring automatic or mandatory registration to access the data, and integrating information from the PDMP systems into patient electronic health records and pharmacy systems, for easier access.

The report found 43 states have prescription drug monitoring programs that collect data electronically on controlled substances, and other drugs that have a potential for abuse, according to InformationWeek. An additional six states have enacted PDMP legislation, but do not yet have functioning programs, the article notes.

Currently, data from the systems are not used as much as they could be, cannot be easily exchanged across states, and are difficult for providers to find, the report states. Five to 39 percent of providers use PDMP data, according to the report. Reasons for the low usage include many providers are not aware of the systems, and the data is not current. In addition, members of healthcare teams that support doctors and pharmacists often are not allowed to access the systems.



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