Integration grants available for drug-monitoring data

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is making up to $3.4 million in data integration grants available to give healthcare providers better access to information in its Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP).

The grants are expected to improve access for hospital emergency departments, primary care practices and retail pharmacies to improve clinicians' workflow and increase use of the information to help them make better decisions, according to an announcement.

States that have enacted drug-monitoring legislation are eligible--only Missouri has not. However, the nine states awarded the grants last year are ineligible. The agency expects to give out as many as eight grants of up to $212,500 each.

The application stresses that the money cannot be used to expand or enhance state programs; it must be used only for integrating PDMP data into other health information systems.

Though most states have enacted such systems to crack down on prescription drug abuse, many states do not fully analyze or act upon all the data they collect, according to a study from Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management. That paper focuses on effective strategies for using the data.

Meanwhile, a new tool that allows the public to look up individual doctors' prescribing habits was recdently announced as part of a study that found there is little government oversight of questionable prescribing habits in Medicare Part D. 

And an Australian study of how medication errors occur said drop-down menus are the most-frequent culprit, followed by the need to edit orders within the systems.

The Safety Assurance Factors for Electronic Health Record Resilience study protocol, also known as the "SAFER project," meanwhile plans to produce a series of self- assessment guides for clinicians on high-risk components--including e-prescribing--of EHR-enabled clinical work systems.

To learn more:
- here's the announcement

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