Study Recommends Training Community Pharmacists on Opioid Safety, Drug Monitoring Programs

Issue 628
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
August 28, 2018

AHRQ Stats: Medicaid Coverage for Pediatric Emergency Care

Medicaid was the primary payer for more than 60 percent of pediatric emergency department visits in 2015. (Source: AHRQ, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #242: Overview of Pediatric Emergency Department Visits, 2015.)

Today's Headlines:

Study Recommends Training Community Pharmacists on Opioid Safety, Drug Monitoring Programs

Increased training of community pharmacists could help tackle the nation’s opioids addiction crisis, according to a review of the scientific literature published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association. The authors reviewed nearly a decade of published literature about prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), which are state-specific electronic databases that contain regularly updated patient data for scheduled drugs, currently found in 49 states. The studies indicated that pharmacists face a number of challenges when dispensing opioids, including difficulty balancing their provider role with protecting the public from opioid abuse, insufficient collaboration and communication with physicians, inadequate education and training for discussions on substance use disorders safety, limited time and reimbursement for clinical time with patients, and fears of legal and ethical ramifications. PDMPs provide a potential avenue for pharmacists to engage patients and providers around opioid safety by facilitating patient counseling, monitoring for opioid safety risks, and potentially intervening to prevent misuse or abuse. Study authors found that PDMPs are not as widely known and integrated into pharmacists’ workflow as they could be. They recommended more training on how PDMPs can improve prescribing practices. Access the abstract.

AHRQ Analysis Shows Decline in Hospital Stays for Heart Conditions

Hospitalizations for cardiovascular disease—specifically, coronary artery disease, heart attack and ischemic stroke—fell 42 percent from 2001 to 2014, according to a new AHRQ analysis. During that period, in-hospital deaths among ischemic stroke patients decreased 38 percent while in-hospital deaths among heart attack patients decreased 29 percent. In 2014, the hospitalization rate for cardiovascular disease was 69 percent higher among those living in the lowest-income areas compared with those in the wealthiest areas. The analysis was based on data from AHRQ’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, the largest collection of hospital care data in the United States. Access the AHRQ analysis.

Highlights From AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network

AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network (PSNet) highlights journal articles, books and tools related to patient safety. Articles featured this week include:

Review additional new publications in PSNet’s current issue or access recent cases and commentaries in AHRQ’s WebM&M (Morbidity and Mortality Rounds on the Web).

Nominate a Research Topic For an AHRQ Evidence Review by Sept. 21

To support evidence-based decision-making, AHRQ’s Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) Program is seeking topic nominations for upcoming evidence reviews. AHRQ’s network of EPCs reviews relevant scientific literature on a wide spectrum of clinical and health services topics. Nominations received by the Sept. 21 deadline will be considered among research projects in fiscal year 2019. Nominations will be reviewed according to selection criteria. Preferred nominations will be those with high potential to impact clinical practice and health outcomes. Email for questions.

Two September Webinars Provide Overview of Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project’s Databases

Webinars on Sept. 5 and Sept. 12, both from 2 to 3 p.m. ET, will provide an overview of AHRQ’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). The first will introduce HCUP nationwide and state-level databases and related resources. The second will explain HCUP’s variety of products and tools, with particular emphasis on HCUPnet, a free online data query system. Register now.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Patient, provider, and system factors associated with failure to follow-up elevated glucose results in patients without diagnosed diabetes. Bowen ME, Merchant Z, Abdullah K, et al. Health Serv Res Manag Epidemiol 2017 Aug 29;4:2333392817721647. eCollection 2017 Jan-Dec. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Exposure to fentanyl-contaminated heroin and overdose risk among illicit opioid users in Rhode Island: a mixed methods study. Carroll JJ, Marshall BDL, Rich JD, et al. Int J Drug Policy 2017 Aug;46:136-45. Epub 2017 Jun 1. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Cost-effectiveness of novel agents in Medicare patients with multiple myeloma: findings from a U.S. payer's perspective. Chen Y, Lairson DR, Chan W, et al. J Manag Care Spec Pharm 2017 Aug;23(8):831-43. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Prevalence of intracranial hemorrhage after blunt head trauma in patients on pre-injury dabigatran. Chenoweth JA, Johnson MA, Shook L, et al. West J Emerg Med 2017 Aug;18(5):794-9. Epub 2017 Jul 14. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Implications of the definition of an episode of care used in the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement model. Ellimoottil C, Ryan AM, Hou H, et al. JAMA Surg 2017 Jan;152(1):49-54. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Reducing hospitalization rates for children with anaphylaxis. Farbman KS, Michelson KA, Neuman MI, et al. Pediatrics 2017 Jun;139(6). Access the abstract on PubMed®.

The simulation-based assessment of pediatric rapid response teams. Fehr JJ, McBride ME, Boulet JR, et al. J Pediatr 2017 Sep;188:258-62.e1. Epub 2017 Apr 20. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Association of hypoglycemia with subsequent dementia in older patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Mehta HB, Mehta V, Goodwin JS. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2017 Aug 1;72(8):1110-6. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

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Page last reviewed August 2018
Page originally created August 2018
Internet Citation: Study Recommends Training Community Pharmacists on Opioid Safety, Drug Monitoring Programs. Content last reviewed August 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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