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from DPS to TSBP by Jan. 1, 2016, and pave the way for system updates. Those updates include allowing Texas to participate in the national prescrip- tion monitoring program InterCon- nect to track drug diversion across state lines — anoth- er strategy agreed upon by the House and Senate panels. “Prescription

drug abuse and misuse is a serious problem in Texas. As a practicing phy- sician I’ve seen that firsthand, and the state of Texas does need to be more diligent in monitor- ing” the problem, Senator Schwertner told Texas Medicine. “We already have a prescription drug monitoring program, and in my opin- ion, these types of programs are best administered by a health agency.” TMA supports the legislation as

“We’re not

ment issue. We’re not here to catch crooks. This [PAT] is a tool to help doctors and pharmacists make better decisions. And if you have better tools to make better decisions, that’s also a therapeutically bet- ter decision for the patient.”

here to catch crooks. This [PAT] is a tool to help

doctors and pharmacists make better decisions.”

WORKING WITH OTHER STATES Looking to advance Texas’ PMP, the pharmacy board and Texas Medical Board (TMB) also researched other state strategies and found most use push notifications that proactively alert physicians and pharmacies when a patient fills

part of its crusade to cut through the reams of red tape enveloping physi- cian practices and detracting from patient care. Through those efforts, TMA wants

to ensure PAT remains a user-friendly risk-management tool that gives doc- tors the flexibility to use it in ways suitable to their practices. The pharmacy board also wel-

comed the potential move, and the proposal gathered speed this year with TMA’s support, says TSBP Ex- ecutive Director Gay Dodson. All but one state now have a prescription monitoring program (PMP), and all but five house those databases within a health-related agency, she adds. “This needs to be housed some-

where that has some knowledge of prescribing and prescribing habits to be able to help doctors and phar- macists make better decisions when writing prescriptions,” Ms. Dodson said. “This is not really a law enforce-

a prescription for a controlled sub- stance from more than one doctor. Physicians would receive an email, or an alert when they log into the system, for example. Other states also make multiple re-

ports available, “and we [the pharmacy board] would intend to get as much flexibility for practitioners to get the information they need so they can see what patients are getting from other doctors, and pharmacists can see what patients are getting at other pharma- cies, too,” Ms. Dodson said. Those reports would be more ro-

bust with out-of-state data from Inter- Connect, allowing physicians to see a more complete history of patients’ controlled substance prescriptions. The program, run by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, links participating state PMPs so us- ers in Texas, for example, could ac- cess interstate data from the roughly 30 participating states to see prescrip- tions written in one state and filled in another. Texas could join the grant- funded program at no cost. For more information, visit DPS did not respond to Texas


The TexMed poster session is one of the best-attended programs.

Applications due by March 27 TEXMED 2015 QUALITY


WHEN: Saturday, May 2, 2015 TexMed 2015

HOW:Contact for more information.

The TMA Council on Health Care Quality and TMF Health Quality Institute announce the third annual TexMed Quality Poster Session.

This is a great opportunity to share patient-care quality improvement successes and best practices for quality patient care.

Attendees may earn 1 AMA PRA Category I Credit TM with ethics.

Scan for application packet. QualityPosters

March 2015 TEXAS MEDICINE 39

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