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Health IT pilot aims to curb Rx drug abuse

WASHINGTON — A new pilot program that aims to curb prescription drug abuse among patients will be tested in Indiana and Ohio.

Created by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, the projects — funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and managed by ONC in collaboration with SAMHSA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Office of National Drug Control Policy — will measure the effects of expanding and improving access to prescription drug monitoring programs and are part of the Obama administration's comprehensive efforts to reduce the prescription drug abuse epidemic.

The pilot project in Indiana will demonstrate how emergency department staff can receive a patient's controlled substance prescription history directly through the Regenstrief Medical Record System, a care management system used by Wishard Health Services — a community health system in Indianapolis — and other hospitals. The project is a collaboration between ONC, Regenstrief, Wishard, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, Appriss and the state of Indiana.

Meanwhile, the Ohio pilot project will test the impact of having a drug risk indicator in the electronic health record and how that affects clinical decision making. The Ohio project is a collaboration with the Springfield Center for Family Medicine, Eagle Software Corp.'s NARxCHECK, the state of Ohio and MITRE.

"Technology plays a critical role in our comprehensive efforts to address our nation's prescription drug abuse epidemic," said Gil Kerlikowske, director of National Drug Control Policy. "Together with education, proper disposal practices, and enforcement, improving existing prescription monitoring programs is a priority for this administration. We hope these innovative pilots will help usher in an era of 'PDMPs 2.0' across the nation to improve real-time data sharing among, increase interoperability of data among states, and expand the number of people using these important tools."


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