Advanced Practice Nurses' Use of Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Information

Steven D. LeMire, PhD; Sarah G. Martner; Cheryl Rising, RN


Journal for Nurse Practitioners. 2012;8(5):383 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


The purpose of the current study was to evaluate advanced practice nurses' perceptions of a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) related to their practice. Advanced practice nurses were asked how PDMP information affects patient care and drug diversion, if it inhibits care, and if they value the information. Overall, they felt the PDMP was an effective tool and played a positive role in their practice.


Prescription drug diversion and abuse is a national health problem.[1–4] Prescribers and dispensers are faced with patients attempting to divert and abuse prescription drugs. This is a problem for all prescribers, including advanced practice nurses (APNs). APNs may prescribe Schedule II-V prescription drugs within their scope of practice.[5] Prescribing scheduled drugs may place APNs in the situation or create a circumstance where knowing patients' prescription history may be beneficial to their practice. Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) are a source for patient prescription histories. These histories may be accessed by stakeholders for patients in their care.

It is unknown how APNs are using PDMPs and how the information is impacting patient care and diversion. It is also unknown if APNs think PDMPs are easy to use and add value to their practice. It is critical to know how APNs are using PDMP information because APNs, like physicians and other prescribing authorities, are on the front lines of a growing prescription drug-abuse problem. Assessing how APNs are using the PDMP could help improve patient care and reduce diversion and abuse.

To better understand how APNs are using PDMP information, APNs were surveyed on the PDMP goals of improving patient care and reducing diversion without inhibiting care. They were also asked if the PDMP added value to their practice and their desire for more prescription drug abuse and diversion training.


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