Leading a horse to water facilitating registration and use of a prescription drug monitoring program

Richard (Rick) Deyo, Jessica M. Irvine, Sara E. Hallvik, Christi Hildebran, Todd Beran, Lisa M. Millet, Miguel Marino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Objectives: Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) can help inform patient management, coordinate care, and identify drug safety risks, abuse, or diversion. However, many clinicians are not registered to use these systems, and use may be suboptimal. We sought to describe outreach efforts in 1 state (Oregon); quantify uptake of system use; identify barriers; and identify potential system improvements. Methods: Program reports of outreach efforts and operational metrics provided rates of registration and use. A statewide survey identified perceived barriers and potential improvements from users and nonusers of the system. Results: Even with extensive registration efforts, <25% of clinicians and pharmacists acquired PDMP accounts over 2 years of operation. Rapid increases in registration and use in 2013 corresponded to new requirements among large pharmacy chains that pharmacists register for and use the PDMP. Among surveyed PDMP nonusers, nearly half were unaware that they could register. Among users and nonusers, over two thirds indicated that time constraints were a major barrier and over half thought that inability to delegate access was a major barrier. Desired improvements included linking state systems, faster entry of pharmacy data, and use of unique patient identifiers. Users also wanted better insurance coverage for mental health and addiction referrals. Discussion: Increasing registration and use of PDMPs remains important. Clinician feedback indicates that program enhancements and health care system changes would facilitate using and responding to PDMP information. It appears premature to judge the efficacy of PDMPs until best practices for their use are identified and impacts are assessed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)782-787
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Journal of Pain
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2015


  • Opioids
  • Prescribing patterns
  • Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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