University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

The Use of a Statewide Prescription Drug Monitoring Program by Emergency Department Physicians

Jennifer L. Hernandez-Meier, PhD, MSW; Rachel Muscott, MD; Amy Zosel, MD, MSCS

WMJ. 2019;118(1):64-68.

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Background: Little is known about how emergency physicians have used Wisconsin’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP).

Objective: To characterize emergency physician knowledge and utilization of the program and how it modifies practice.

Methods: Online survey data were collected 1 year after program implementation. Descriptive statistics were generated and qualitative responses were grouped by content.

Results: Of the 63 respondents, 64.1% had used the program. Lack of a DEA number and knowledge about how to sign up were the most common barriers to registration. Over 97% of program users found it useful for confirming suspicion of drug abuse and 90% wrote fewer prescriptions after program implementation. Time constraints and the difficult log-in process were common barriers to use. More users than nonusers stated that their workplace was supportive of program use.

Conclusions: Although barriers exist, PDMP utilization appears useful to emergency physicians and associated with modifications to patient management.

Author Affilations: Injury Research Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), Milwaukee, Wis (Hernandez-Meier); Department of Emergency Medicine, MCW, Milwaukee, Wis (Hernandez-Meier, Zosel); Medical School at MCW, Milwaukee, Wis (Muscott).
Corresponding Author: Amy Zosel, MD, Froedtert Hospital, Department of Emergency Medicine, Pavilion 1P, 9200 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53226; phone 414.805.1101; fax 414.805.6464; e-mail
Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank the Wisconsin Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians for facilitating this project’s data collection procedures. We would also like to thank the Wisconsin Medical Society for proving population data for emergency physicians in the state.
Funding/Support: This work was funded by the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program, a component of the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin endowment at the Medical College of Wisconsin. The funder had no other role in this project.
Financial Disclosures: None declared.
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