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Emergency Physicians Use New Tool to Detect Drug-Seekers in the ER
Date:7/10/2013

WASHINGTON, July 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Emergency physicians and other emergency department staff were fairly accurate in assessing which patients were drug-seekers in the emergency department, changing their prescribing plans for less than 10 percent of patients after consulting an objective computerized state prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP). The analysis of emergency providers' prescribing patterns and clinical factors associated with suspecting drug-seeking in the ER were published online yesterday in Annals of Emergency Medicine ("Clinician Impression vs. Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Criteria in the Assessment of Drug-Seeking Behavior in the Emergency Department") http://tinyurl.com/l56wqg6.  

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"Although emergency clinicians are unfairly blamed for the escalating problem of opiate abuse in the U.S., we and our patients benefit from the extra help provided by prescription monitoring programs," said lead study author Scott G. Weiner, MD, MPH, of Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Mass.  "Because pain is so subjective, we are guided by our experience and our gut when deciding what pain medications to use for patients.  Data from the PDMPs can provide important objective criteria to help better inform prescribing decisions."

Researchers compared emergency physicians' impressions of drug-seeking behavior to data contained in a state PDMP on 544 patient visits to emergency departments.  PDMPs are state-based centralized data collection programs that record combinations of controlled substance medications for certain classes of prescription medications that are typical drugs of abuse. Emergency physicians assessed 35.6 percent of p
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SOURCE American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)
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