The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT have been collaborating for the last five years, on a new project to be utilized by both states and health systems. Known as the Integration Framework, the new resource will act as a guide for prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) as they continue to be integrated with clinicians and their medical practices. Included in this is the optimal practices for potentially spotting and intervening cases of opioid abuse. The Integration Framework provides information for clinicians on how they can scale PDMP using their Information Technology (IT) systems. These systems come in several forms, such as Electronic Health Records (EHR), Electronic Medical Records (EMR), and Health Information Exchange systems. The agencies involved with the development of the framework have stated the guidance is aimed at primary care and outpatient facilities, in addition to general hospitals. They are hopeful that with the guidance streams of communication, management, and project outcomes will improve over time.
Elements of The Integration Network
The agencies worked with eight health systems, comprised across five states in the United States. Six of these health systems acted as demonstration sites for the PDMPs implementation, allowing tweaks to be made based on the aspects that failed or succeeded in the demonstration. The following are the key elements that make up the Integration Network:
- An initial quick start guide is offered to define language and phrasing used in the framework that is perceived as complicated. This also includes acronyms used.
- An integration taxonomy is provided to offer practices a range of methods to integrate the framework for PDMPs
- Training guidance is provided to offer critical guidance and offer solutions to questions that are frequently asked during the project included in the framework.
- Auditing guidance is provided to offer recording advice when integrating PDMP-EHR
- MOU guidance provided outlines certain areas to be considered during the integration process of PDMP-EHR
- Testing guidance is offered to provide realistic scenarios of testing which may prove useful to places of integration who wish to test prior to actual integration
- A testing template is provided , offering templates that can be used prior to authenticating documentation
The adaptation of the Integrated Framework by healthcare practices is critical to the battle against opioid addiction, which has taken the lives of over half a million individuals and continues to be a leading cause of premature death in the United States.