Meaningful Use Stage 3 may tackle prescription drug abuse

The health IT industry is beginning to get more of a feel for what Stage 3 of Meaningful Use could look like, with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's HIT Policy Committee Meaningful Use workgroup considering whether Stage 3 might include provisions dealing with prescription drug abuse, according to a recent EHR Intelligence article.

Several potential opportunities for inclusion of this issue in Meaningful Use Stage 3, discussed at the workgroup's Oct. 25 meeting include:

  • Including prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) prescription drug history in medications reviews before a prescriber finalizes a controlled substance prospection order;
  • Adopting a clinical quality measure that reports a provider's performance based on the use of the PDMP prescription drug history;
  • Mandatory provider registration with the applicable state PDMP drug monitoring program
  • Requiring a single sign-on or hyperlink to access PDMP data.

Prediction drug abuse is the nation's fastest growing drug problem, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. PMDPs are statewide electronic databases that providers can use to identify patients who abuse prescription drugs by "doctor shopping" to fill multiple prescriptions and engage in related activities. Almost all states have these programs, or have enacted legislation to establish them.

The Federal Advisory Committees on Meaningful use--the HIT Policy Committee and the HIT Standards Committee--both were created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the same law that created the incentive program, to assist and advise ONC on health IT. ONC has expressed interest in this topic in the past, establishing a pilot program to use health IT in prescription drug monitoring earlier this year.

To learn more:
- listen to the meeting and read the materials
- read the EHR Intelligence article