Science and Technology News

Monday, September 14, 2009

Prescription Monitoring Program Achieves Milestone

Exchange of simulated data paves the way for nationwide capability

The IJIS Institute, a nonprofit organization that focuses on mission-critical information sharing for justice, public safety, and homeland security, is pleased to announce the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) Information Exchange (PMIX) project realized a significant milestone on September 1, 2009, with the successful exchange of simulated patient data between the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The PMIX project, which helps states exchange dispensed controlled-substance prescription data, is a partnership of the IJIS Institute, representatives from the involved states, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

PMP systems are controlled by authorized state agencies to collect controlled substance dispensing data in a centralized state database. Designed to help detect and prevent the diversion and abuse of these substances, the programs involve the cooperative efforts of law enforcement, health providers and communities in general. The IJIS Institute is helping states exchange dispensed controlled-substance prescription data through a multi-phased process of developing baseline standards for automated information exchanges, implementing pilot exchange capabilities, and expanding successful pilot implementations into a multi-state solution.

The primary objective of the PMIX project was to develop and test a prototype, intermediary Hub server to enable future, cost-effective expansion of PMIX capabilities to a national scale. The capability to exchange simulated patient data through the Hub was successfully demonstrated on September 1 by representatives of the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The exchange of simulated patient data was covered by a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that enabled the sharing of data between test systems in the two states. The demonstration showed how a prescriber in either state could make a request and receive dispensed prescription data through the state's web-based PMP system.

With assistance from the Alliance of States with Prescription Monitoring Programs (ASPMP), additional states are already developing MOUs with exchange partners and making preparations to implement and test similar PMIX capabilities using simulated patient data.

An important project outcome was to demonstrate a way to reduce the overhead cost that could have accrued at the national level if every potential pair of exchange partners was to implement a separate point-to-point exchange. Another was to make substantial progress supporting the community's long-range goal of achieving a National Information Exchange Model (NIEM)-conformant nationwide PMIX capability. The project showed the feasibility of developing real, executable software code to serve the expectations of a diverse set of stakeholders under substantially divergent state statutes. The states of Ohio and Kentucky, with assistance from an array of IJIS Institute member firms, stepped up to meet this challenge and deserve credit for aggressively taking the lead in the PMP domain. The following IJIS Institute members contributed to the project: BruckEdwards, Inc., Patriot Data Solutions Group, Optimum Technology, Vortx, Delegata, and Health Information Designs, Inc.

The PMIX project is funded by a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), with supplemental funding under the 2008 Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. BJA supports PMP programs, such as the PMIX project, through the 2008 Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, technology assistance projects through the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws (NAMSDL), and coordination through the ASPMP. The PMIX project receives guidance from the BJA/IJIS Institute PMP Committee comprised of state PMP representatives (Alabama, California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, and New York), Institute members, and representatives of various federal interests, including BJA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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