State’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Launches for Healthcare Providers

BALTIMORE (December 20, 2013) – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) today announced the launch of healthcare provider access to Maryland’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). The goal of the PDMP is to assist providers, public health professionals and other stakeholders in reducing the misuse, abuse and diversion of prescription drugs. 

"Drug abuse is a critical public health challenge in Maryland and nationwide, and driving down the number of Marylanders who die from drug overdoses is a priority for our administration," said Governor Martin O'Malley. "We know that treatment is a valuable tool in helping people recover from drug addiction and reduce their long-term risk of overdose. That is why we set and surpassed a goal to expand substance abuse treatment services by the end of 2012, and we have a new goal to reduce overdose deaths 20 percent statewide by the end of 2015. The PDMP will allow doctors and other health care providers to access valuable information that will assist them in identifying Marylanders at risk and better connect them to the treatment they need."

For the first time, providers will have online access to their patients’ Maryland controlled substance prescription history. The PDMP will improve their ability to screen for substance use disorders, make referrals to appropriate assessment, treatment and recovery services and prevent dangerous drug interactions.

“The PDMP is a core component of the State’s plan to address prescription substance abuse,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, DHMH Secretary. “This program will help providers intervene in the cycle of addiction and get patients the treatment they need.”

Prescription drug abuse is a significant public health challenge in Maryland and across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2009 there were more than 15,500 fatal overdoses in the United States related to prescription opioid pain relievers like oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone. In Maryland, over 40% of all overdose deaths that occurred between 2007 and 2012 involved one or more prescription opioid.

Clinical access to PDMP data will be provided by the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP) through their web-based query portal. CRISP also administers the statewide health information exchange (HIE).

”We’re very excited to partner with DHMH to implement the PDMP,” said David Horrocks, CRISP’s Chief Executive Officer. “Combining these two major health information technology projects will allow us to better serve the needs of providers and their patients in Maryland and throughout the region.”

For more information about provider registration and access to PDMP data, visit CRISP’s website at http://crisphealth.org/CRISP-HIE-SERVICES/PDMP . To learn more about the PDMP, visit the DHMH Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration website at http://adaa.dhmh.maryland.gov/PDMP/SitePages/Home.aspx.

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