Health and Wellness Informatics News
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the FDA are working together to create a program that will use real-world data to monitor the efficacy of cancer drugs.
The program will use data from electronic health records and other sources to track the effectiveness of drugs in the real world.
Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology released a report on EPCS. The report suggests the use of electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) and prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) has significantly increased among healthcare providers.
The report states that one-third of prescribers now access drug monitoring through their electronic health records, up from one-fifth in 2019. Additionally, 62% of physicians reported using EPCS technology often, an increase from 37% in 2019.
This is a positive development, as these systems are critical to improving opioid prescribing practices, supporting safe and effective patient care, and informing treatment decisions.
The report also found that in 2021 nearly 71% of physician prescribers use EPCS, with 62% reporting that they use it often. This is a significant increase from the 37% of prescribers reported using EPCS often in 2019.
The use of PDMPs has remained steady, with 78% of physician prescribers indicating that they checked their state’s drug monitoring before prescribing controlled substances like opioids to a patient for the very first time.
Data integration has been one of the challenges to the widespread use of PDMPs. It is difficult to tie records across multiple pharmacies and access data across state boundaries. This makes it difficult to get a complete picture of a patient’s prescriptions.
Despite these challenges, PDMPs and EPCS are widely regarded as important tools in the fight to lower the country’s drug abuse and opioid overdose statistics.
While the progress in the use of EPCS and drug monitoring is promising, there is still room for improvement. The report states that it is important to ensure that integration drives value by embedding data in clinician workflows and powering actionable decision-support tools to combat the opioid crisis.