Madison, Wis. – Department of Safety and Professional Services Secretary Dawn Crim is eliminating start-up and monthly fees associated with integrating the Enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program into electronic health record systems. The move is intended to expand access to the ePDMP, which is a key tool in the state’s ongoing efforts to combat prescription opioid misuse.
The department is using resources it secured through the budgeting process as well as a $1,648,500 million U.S. Department of Justice Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program grant to fund the effort.
“This was a strategic decision in our budget request and our grant application, and I am pleased that our success will mean that the ePDMP will be more accessible to more healthcare professionals in Wisconsin,” Secretary Crim said. “The ePDMP is critical to the state’s opioid response, and it is far more effective when more providers are using it. Eliminating these fees will fuel further expansion across the state, particularly with healthcare organizations that saw the cost as a barrier.”
The ePDMP is a tool to help combat prescription drug misuse in Wisconsin. By providing valuable information about monitored prescription drugs that are dispensed in the state, it aids healthcare professionals in their prescribing and dispensing decisions. The ePDMP also fosters the ability of pharmacies, healthcare professionals, law enforcement agencies, and public health officials to work together to reduce the misuse, and diversion of monitored prescription drugs. Further, the program’s statistics and data visualizations inform policy discussions and decisions.
“The ePDMP gives us invaluable information about opioids and other prescription drugs in Wisconsin, and we use that information to help guide decision making on programs and services we offer and the policies we support and implement,” said Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “Expanding ePDMP use will give us more complete data, leading to more informed decisions and more effective programs and services.”
The department developed the ePDMP Integration Services with technology partner NIC Wisconsin to enable Wisconsin health care organizations of all sizes to benefit from simplified access to the ePDMP. Integration allows users to access ePDMP functionality through their electronic health record login rather than logging into the website through a separate browser window. This streamlining increases efficiency and usage, but it requires technical work to align systems and often prompts ongoing user questions and need for technical support. These new funds make it even easier for health systems and other healthcare organizations to expand their usage of the ePDMP by removing financial barriers to integration.
“We work closely with health systems as they are making decisions about whether to integrate and supporting them once they’ve completed their integration,” said NIC Wisconsin Director of Operations Chad Zadrazil. “As we worked with the Department of Safety and Professional Services on ongoing improvements that could expand access and usage of the ePDMP, we realized that we could make a significant impact by eliminating the costs of integration—both the initial and the ongoing fees.”
The new fee structure went into effect on Sunday, June 5. Healthcare organizations can find more information or request a free electronic health record integration HERE.
About DSPS: The Department of Safety and Professional Services issues more than 240 unique licenses, administers dozens of boards and councils that regulate professions, enforces state building codes, runs the state fire prevention program, and maintains the award-winning Wisconsin Enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which is a key tool in the multi-faceted public health campaign to stem excessive opioid prescribing. A fee-based agency, the Department of Safety and Professional Services is self-sustaining and receives no general fund tax dollars for its day-to-day operations. With five offices and 250 employees throughout Wisconsin, DSPS collaborates with constituents and stakeholders across a wide range of industries to promote safety and advance the economy.