Sharon M. Joyce Director
Improving Clinical Care through Enhancements to the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program
NJ CARES has collaborated with the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program (“NJPMP”) on a variety of grant funded initiatives to enhance utilization by prescribers. To help combat prescription drug abuse, the (“NJPMP”) runs a statewide database that collects prescription data on controlled dangerous substances (“CDS”) such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, and Human Growth Hormone (“HGH”) prescribed in outpatient settings and dispensed by New Jersey pharmacies, and by out-of-state pharmacies dispensing into New Jersey.
The NJPMP has been a critical tool to halt abuse and the diversion of drugs by helping prescribers make more informed clinical decisions on whether to prescribe opioids, prevent doctor shopping among patients, and monitor inappropriate prescribing. An upgraded platform now allows program users to more easily identify, prevent, and manage substance use disorder and detect potential cases of substance abuse, misuse, and diversion; NJPMP data is translated into a color-coded, interactive timeline which more easily displays patients’ medication histories and prescriber visits. Further, through “integration,” prescribers and pharmacists are able to seamlessly access patients’ NJPMP reports at the point-of-care within their primary clinical workflow software programs, as NJPMP data is integrated into the Electronic Health Records systems of healthcare entities.
A new Clinical Alerts module provides prescribers with unsolicited notifications when a patient meets or exceeds the following potentially harmful thresholds: multiple prescriber and pharmacy episodes; receiving high-dose opioid therapy; receiving opioids and benzodiazepines concomitantly; and/or receiving opioid therapy for an excessive duration. NJPMP now issues quarterly Prescriber Insight Reports to all NJPMP-registered prescribers who selected a practice specialty at the time of registration.
These reports provide prescribers with a snapshot of their controlled substance prescription history and compares it to other practitioners within their same specialty, allowing them to visualize if their practices are similar to their peers. Finally, the NJPMP has worked closely with the NJ Drug Control Unit in an effort to increase compliance with mandatory NJPMP registration for specific licensee groups of NJ CDS . Between 2018 and 2020, approximately 6,000 CDS physicians, 1,900 CDS advanced practice nurses, 1,500 CDS dentists, 200 CDS podiatrists, 100 CDS optometrists, and 745 CDS certified nurse midwives registered with the NJPMP and improved their licensee group’s registration compliance to 99%, 96%, 98%, 97%, 94% and 97% respectively. CDS registrations of prescribers who fail to register with the NJPMP will automatically expire; such prescribers will not be authorized to prescribe CDS and will be precluded from renewing their CDS registration until they become compliant.