HealthDay News — Most primary care physicians are aware of state prescription drug monitoring programs, but only about half report using one, according to research published in Health Affairs.
Lainie Rutkow, JD, PhD, MPH, from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, and colleagues conducted a nationally representative mail survey involving 420 practicing primary care physicians. The authors examined attitudes toward and awareness and use of prescription drug monitoring programs in 2014.
The researchers found that 72% of physicians were aware of their state’s prescription drug monitoring program, and more than half (53%) reported using one of the programs. Several barriers were identified to prevent greater program use, including the time-consuming nature of information retrieval and lack of an intuitive format for the data.
“These results suggest that the majority of U.S. primary care physicians are aware of and use prescription drug monitoring programs at least on occasion, although many did not access these programs routinely,” the researchers wrote. “To increase the use of the programs in clinical practice, states should consider implementing legal mandates, investing in prescriber education and outreach, and taking measures to enhance ease of access to and use of the programs.”