Twenty-five states have now joined the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) PMP InterConnect prescription drug monitoring program, the NABP recently announced.
With half of the states now sharing PMP data via this secure communication platform, authorized PMP users in those states are able to see a more complete history of patients' controlled substance prescriptions, helping healthcare providers identify possible misuse or abuse.
NABP InterConnect, launched in 2011, was designed by NABP to facilitate interoperability and interstate data sharing between state PMPs by providing a secure communications exchange platform for participating states. The system does not house any data and ensures that each state's data access rules are enforced.
Nevada, Idaho, and New Jersey are the latest state PMPs to go live and begin sharing data through NABP InterConnect. Several other states have signed memorandums of understanding to participate and are working toward a connection to the system in 2014, NABP officials said.
"It is extremely gratifying to be able to provide a safe and secure solution for interstate data exchange to the state PMPs," NABP President Joseph L. Adams, said in a news release statement. "With 25 states of the 48 United States jurisdictions that have operational PMPs participating in NABP PMP InterConnect, thousands of healthcare providers now have a more complete view of their patients' prescription drug history to assist them in their prescribing and dispensing decisions."
Sharing controlled substance prescription history information from state to state enables providers to make more informed prescribing and dispensing decisions, as they are able to access more complete patient data. For example, in fourth quarter 2013, the Virginia PMP—one of the three original states to participate in NABP InterConnect—received interstate prescription data on over 1,400 patients.
Virginia's data also shows that PMP users in other states are benefiting from NABP InterConnect, reporting that since the PMP began utilizing the system the number of requests to the state has increased, accounting for 11 percent of all requests in 2013.
Virginia looks forward to increased interoperability with additional bordering states in 2014 because sharing data with bordering states increases the effectiveness of the state PMP, said NABP officials. One benefit of sharing prescription drug data among neighboring states is that it can help providers identify "doctor shopping," when patients visit multiple doctors to obtain controlled substance medications, sometimes traveling hundreds of miles and across state borders.
Additionally, the Virginia PMP officials are looking forward to leveraging the use of NABP InterConnect to provide PMP data for authorized Virginia users via the Commonwealth's health information exchange (HIE). Such integration projects have been implemented successfully in Ohio and Indiana and bring PMP data directly into the provider's workflow.
"Expanded use of NABP InterConnect is a major part of our program's strategy to integrate PMP data with various health information technology platforms," Ralph Orr, director, Virginia PMP, said in a statement. "We anticipate that this integration will increase use of the PMP by incorporating the data within existing provider workflow patterns."