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Report, Jul/20:Measuring the Effectiveness of Benzo Prescriptions Control - PDMP


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The full title of this Americn report is "Measuring the Effectiveness of Benzodiazepine Prescriptions Control in Community Setting Using Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP)".






Benzodiazepines have been widely prescribed for several years for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Benzodiazepines were meant to be for short term use but in clinical settings long term use has been the "norm" for the treatment. Benzodiazepines are known for addiction potential and have been involved in accidental overdose deaths. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), there has been a tenfold increase in the number of deaths due to overdose from 1999 to 2017. Benzodiazepines contributed to staggering high figures of 11,537 deaths in 2017 alone. Kentucky was ranked 4th in overdose related deaths in 2015 by CDC. Seeing this rise in overdose deaths, our community mental health clinics (CMHC) took the initiative to protect the community by removing benzodiazepines from the approved formulary in all adult outpatient community mental health clinics (total six clinics) in 2016. This project was initiated to protect the community from overdose deaths. In order to see the decrease in the benzodiazepine prescriptions, we did a quarterly Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting (KASPER) prescriber's reports to see the trend. The goal of this project was to monitor the trend of benzodiazepine prescription control in CMHC. Our hypothesis was implementation of CMHC "No Benzodiazepine" policy would decrease in the number of prescriptions. To implement this change, we made a committee to educate staff including physicians, APRN's and therapists. Patients were also educated and informed regarding benzodiazepine free policy. Education materials were posted in the clinics and handed over to patients. Patients were offered individual and group therapy sessions to learn coping skills to cope with their anxiety. Patients had the option of inpatient detoxification, if clinically indicated. No new patients were started on benzodiazepines and patients who were already on benzodiazepines were slowly titrated off. Slow titration over the course of a few months was done as needed and tolerated. Quarterly, prescriber's prescription reports were generated with the help of KASPER (KASPER is PDMP in the state of Kentucky). After analyzing quarterly reports over the span of 2 years, we concluded that there was a total of 89% decrease in benzodiazepine prescriptions. We are hoping to reach close to 100% in the next few years. We conduct a Mental Health Statistics Improvement Program (MHSIP) which is a general patient satisfaction survey done annually. We used this data to monitor the change with this new policy. Open patients report was run to monitor any change in case load before and after the implementation of the policy. After compilation of the KASPER/ PDMP data of all the prescribers- MD's and APRN's, we found an 89% decrease in the number of benzodiazepines prescriptions over the span of 2 years. We did the open patients report and did not find any decrease in case load. In 2016, there were 10,359 open patients and in 2018 there were 12,266 open patients. We reviewed the MHSIP general patient satisfaction survey that is done annually, and we did not find any major difference in overall satisfaction as compared to previous years. These practice- based interventions implementing harm reduction strategies suggest that, although it was a difficult task, with strict adherence to no benzodiazepine policy, we were able to achieve a stark drop in the number of benzodiazepine prescriptions, in the span of 2 years, and have been able to continue to maintain the low numbers of benzodiazepine prescriptions.



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