Health Care Experts Discuss Wisconsin’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Community partners meet with DSPS Secretary and Opioid Task Force

May 25, 2018

Wisconsin’s Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) partnered with WHA to set up roundtables across the state to foster discussion about Wisconsin’s enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (ePDMP).

On May 22, 16 members of Iowa County’s Opioid Task Force met with DSPS Secretary Laura Gutierrez and PDMP Deputy Director Sarah Bradley at Upland Hills Health in Dodgeville. Upland Hills leaders and clinicians, law enforcement officers and county service providers discussed the state’s effort to combat the opioid abuse epidemic which has tripled the number of overdose visits to Wisconsin hospitals since 2010. There has been a 10 percent reduction in opioid prescriptions dispensed in the last 12 months, but there is more work to be done. 

WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding said, “We welcome the opportunity to support and facilitate these roundtables recognizing the role hospitals and health systems play in delivering care to those suffering from substance abuse.  Important work is being done to identify community needs and recommend proactive solutions to address Wisconsin’s opioid abuse epidemic.”

At the Upland Hills roundtable, Gutierrez praised the community partnerships in Oshkosh, Green Bay, Oconomowoc and Dodgeville, noting “The PDMP is the tool to uncover the issues so groups like yours can work on solutions.” Bradley provided an overview of the system and said, “In Wisconsin, we chose to build our own system so that the PDMP can be improved based on user feedback.” Participant feedback will be used to continue to improve the program, and will also be shared with the Governor’s Opioid Task Force.

The team at Upland Hills agreed with Gutierrez that the ePDMP can be a useful tool, noting, “The data should guide our state efforts and resources.” The group also concurred with Gutierrez when she characterized the program as supportive not prescriptive, saying “We don’t want to build a system that mandates care, such as a restriction on the number or amount of pain medications prescribed after a major surgery.” 

DSPS will complete several more roundtables throughout the summer and into early fall.

The original Wisconsin PDMP was launched in 2013 and was enhanced to become the ePDMP in 2017. Physicians and advanced practice clinicians, pharmacies, and law enforcement officers who become aware of incidents associated with the possession or use of controlled substances electronically report information to the ePDMP.

There are 46,000 health care users and 2,000 dispensing providers who create more than 9 million records each year in the ePDMP.

This story originally appeared in the May 25, 2018 edition of WHA Newsletter