Nebraska Health Department, NeHII Taking Steps to Enhance State PDMP

Feb. 28, 2018
The Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NeHII), a statewide health information exchange (HIE) and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services are taking steps to capture state prescription information and deliver it to Nebraska’s enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) which began January 1, 2017.

The Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NeHII), a statewide health information exchange (HIE) and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services are taking steps to capture state prescription information and deliver it to Nebraska’s enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) which began January 1, 2017.

NeHII is working with ePrescribing medication management solutions provider DrFirst to aggregate statewide prescription records. According to NeHII, the inclusion of complete prescription data in the PDMP database enhances patient safety and helps combat the abuse of opioids by giving providers and pharmacists a more complete picture of a patient’s medication history, allowing opioid use to be addressed in the overall context of the patient’s care plan while also highlighting diversion or other patterns of abuse.

 By delivering prescription history, PDMPs give prescribers and pharmacists critical information regarding patients’ prescription fill histories and help them identify patients who may be misusing prescription opioids, leaving them at risk for overdose. These patients may benefit from early interventions, including dosage tapering, alternate therapies and/or treatment for opioid abuse. 

Starting this year, dispensed prescriptions for controlled substances are now tracked through the PDMP. As of January 1, 2018, Nebraska will be the first state to require the tracking of all dispensed prescriptions. NeHII officials say DrFirst’s functionality will facilitate a more complete medication record to help pharmacists and prescribers look for adverse drug-drug combinations and duplicate therapies. Functionality will alert providers of patients receiving several dispensed opioid prescriptions and identify overlapping dispensed prescriptions of opioids and benzodiazepines. The tracking of several dispensed opioid prescription medications and overlapping prescriptions identifies patients who may benefit from closer monitoring, the reduction or tapering of opioids, the prescribing of naloxone, or other measures that reduce the risk of overdose.

“NeHII is focused on sharing timely and accurate patient health information in a secure environment to improve patient care,” Deb Bass, CEO at NeHII, said in a statement “DrFirst is working closely with us to deliver the functionality we need to further enhance our PDMP, provide a complete view of a patient’s prescription history and the ability to catch potential red flags, including adverse reactions and opioid abuse.”

The solutions provider collects dispensed prescription details and makes them available through NeHII to all of Nebraska’s prescribers and dispensers, including each of the state’s 552 pharmacies and approximately 400 mail-order companies. Physicians and pharmacists will have access to these records at the point-of-care, allowing them to make more informed decisions for enhanced patient safety. This includes the ability to identify patients that may need opioid abuse intervention.

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