Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs

The Role of Health IT in Preventing Substance Use Disorders/ Opioid-Use Disorders

Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) are one of the most promising tools available to improve opioid over-prescribing, identify drug-seeking behavior, and inform clinical practice and decisions. PDMPs are state-run electronic databases that provide critical health information to physicians and other healthcare providers about an individual’s history of controlled substance prescriptions. 


Advancing and Scaling Health IT Integrations for Improved Opioid Prescribing

Diversions such as inappropriate selling of prescription drugs and physician-shopping and protecting at-risk patients are all challenges that PDMPs help address.

ONC works on a range of efforts seeking to ensure that the utility and promise of PDMPs is fully realized. ONC focuses on improving the integrations that enable critical flow of information to healthcare providers as part of their workflow. Making PDMP information available in health IT systems like EHRs can make it easier for physicians and pharmacists to quickly check a patient’s PDMP report before prescribing or dispensing prescription pain medications.

ONC Health IT Playbook


Advancing PDMP and EHR Integration

From 2018 to 2022, as part of efforts to support the use of health IT in response to the drug overdose epidemic, ONC and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collaborated on the Advancing PDMP and EHR Integration project. The purpose of this project was to advance and scale vendor agnostic PDMP integrations with health IT systems in a variety of hospital, primary care, and outpatient settings. Specific goals of the project included:

  • Test and refine standards-based, non-proprietary approaches to enable effective integration of state PDMP data into healthcare system EHRs, including integration into clinical workflows
  • Identify and advance promising vendor-agnostic approaches that support scalability and sustainability of PDMP – health IT integration
  • Explore emerging vendor-agnostic technical solutions to enhance access and use of PDMP data
  • Compile lessons learned and best practices that can be translated into vendor-agnostic, non-proprietary technical resources for states and health systems

As an outcome of this effort, ONC and CDC produced an Integration Framework and an Integration Toolkit to serve as technical resources to other organizations interested in integrations. The Integration Framework provides guidance to healthcare systems and relevant stakeholders to support successful project execution, management and communications for Health IT integrations related to PDMPs and clinical decision support for opioid prescribing.

Download the Integration Framework


What is included in the PDMP-EHR Integration Toolkit?