The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) has made access to patient controlled dangerous substance (CDS) prescription information collected by the PDMP available at no-cost to physicians, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and others that provide pharmaceutical care to their patients. Providers can now register with CRISP to get access to PDMP data to support patient care. See the Clinical Resources section for information on educational and training resources designed to assist providers with safe and effective use of CDS prescription drugs in patient care.
For more information about healthcare provider access, please see the Frequently Asked Questions below.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can any healthcare provider access PDMP data?
In general, healthcare providers may register to access their patients’ controlled substance prescription information for treatment purposes. The specific user role assigned to a provider will depend on the type of practitioner or practice setting. These include:
- Prescriber: Licensed healthcare practitioners that are authorized to prescribe controlled substances (i.e. registered with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and, for Maryland-licensed practitioners, the DHMH Division of Drug Control) may register for a user account. This includes physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, dentists and podiatrists.
- Dispenser: Licensed pharmacists may register for a user account.
- Non-prescribing practitioners: Licensed healthcare practitioners that are not authorized to prescribe controlled substance (including nurses, psychologists, professional counselors/therapists and social workers) may register for a user account. However, these practitioners must be delegated access by a prescribing practitioner. For instance, a physician can delegate access to a registered nurse. NOTE: A prescriber cannot delegate PDMP access to a non-practitioner (e.g. a medical assistant or office secretary).
- Pharmacy Technicians: Pharmacy technicians may be delegated access by a licensed pharmacist.
2. How do I get access to PDMP data?
Healthcare providers must register with CRISP to access PDMP data. Once registered, providers may access their patients’ controlled substance prescription history through the CRISP health information exchange (HIE) query portal.
3. What is CRISP?
CRISP is Maryland’s designated statewide health information exchange (HIE). CRISP is a not-for-profit organization charged with electronically connecting healthcare providers across the region. DHMH has partnered with CRISP to make controlled substance prescription information collected by the PDMP available to healthcare providers in real-time, at the point-of-care. Practitioners that register for HIE query portal accounts with CRISP may receive access to PDMP data as well as an array of other patient clinical information, including hospital admission, discharge and transfer records, labs and radiology reports, operative notes, etc. This information is presented in a user-configurable and easy-to-use web-based interface. For more information, please visit CRISP’s website.
4. Is the CRISP HIE the only way I can access PDMP data?
Currently, the CRISP HIE is the only way for providers to access patient-specific PDMP data.
To facilitate access to the portal, CRISP is making “single sign-on (SSO)” integration available for eligible users of electronic health records (EHR) and other health information systems. SSO allows your EHR log in credentials to be automatically “passed” to the CRISP HIE, eliminating the need to log in to the HIE web portal separately. Patient information can also be passed in a similar manner, eliminating the need to again enter patient search criteria (e.g. patient name and date of birth) in the HIE web portal. This reduces the number of clicks and amount of typing required and allows you to access data with a single click.
If your organization would like to set up single sign-on for CRISP/PDMP, please contact CRISP at email@example.com or 1-877-95-CRISP (27477) for more information.
5. Do I have to sign the CRISP Participation Agreement to get access to PDMP data?
If you would only like access to PDMP data and not the other clinical data available through CRISP, you will simply need to sign a short Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
6. Is there a fee to access PDMP data through CRISP?
No. Provider access to PDMP data through the CRISP HIE is free of charge.
7. Can my office staff access PDMP data on my behalf?
Healthcare providers who are authorized by law to prescribe or dispense controlled substances may delegate another licensed healthcare practitioner to access PDMP data on their behalf (see “Can any healthcare provider access PDMP data?” above). These delegate practitioners will be provided with their own user accounts with unique usernames and passwords. However, providers may NOT delegate access to non-practitioner office staff (e.g. a medical assistant or office secretary).
8. How current is PDMP data?
The PDMP requires dispensers to report within 3 business days of dispensing a CDS prescription drug. Data processing may add additional time before the information is available for query.
9. When is PDMP data available for query?
PDMP data is available for online query by registered users 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
10. Do I have to inform my patients that I’m going to query their prescription information?
No. However, in accordance with COMAR 10.47.07.05B, providers that intend to access PDMP data should consider informing their patients by means of posting a sign or providing written notice. See “How does HIPAA relate to the PDMP?” below for additional information regarding patient privacy issues.
11. What if I’ve forgotten my user name or password?
12. What is the best way to perform a query?
You can search for a patient as broadly or as specifically as you would like. The only search fields that are required to search the data are the last name field and date of birth.
13. Can a patient opt-out of having his or her PDMP data accessible through the CRISP HIE?
No. The patient opt-out available for other CRISP clinical information does not apply to provider access to patient prescription records collected by the PDMP. State law requires that providers have access to PDMP data.
14. Why can’t I find any prescription information on my patient?
The patient may not have any filled CDS prescriptions. If you believe this is in error, please contact the PDMP at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 410-402-8686 during regular business hours.
15. Why does my patient have two (or more) separate records with different ID numbers?
As prescription data is reported to the PDMP by many different dispensers, information about a particular patient may be recorded, stored and reported by dispensers differently. For example, one pharmacy may record the patient as “Jon Smith” and another as “Jonathan Smith,” or one pharmacy may have a different, outdated address on file for a patient with the same exact name. CRISP employs powerful patient matching technology to help ensure that clinical information about the right patient is returned to system users as accurately as possible. However, sometimes information about a unique patient has not been consolidated into a single record because the available information about that patient was not sufficient to form a strong match. In these situations, some of the patient’s prescription (or other clinical) information may be in one record and the rest in others. This may change over time as more information becomes available in order to create a match between previously distinct records.
16. Why aren’t prescriptions I’ve written showing up in my patient’s record?
If you do not see a record of prescriptions you have written, first confirm with the patient and/or the pharmacy that the prescription was actually dispensed. If it was dispensed, confirm that it was not dispensed within the past 3 business days. It is possible that the pharmacy has not yet reported the dispensing to the PDMP.
If you are certain that the prescription was dispensed more than 3 business days prior, contact the PDMP at email@example.com or call 410-402-8686 during regular business hours.
17. What can I do if I think the dispensing pharmacy made an error in a reported prescription record?
Please contact the dispensing pharmacy directly to verify 1) that the drug was properly dispensed pursuant to your prescription and 2) that the information reported to the PDMP was an accurate record of the dispensing. If incorrect information was reported to the PDMP, please notify the PDMP administrator by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 410-402-8686.
18. Why isn’t the “sig” information (instructions for use) from the prescription available in the PDMP data?
The PDMP does not collect this information. In general, pharmacies do not record the “sig” information from prescriptions in the dispensing records in their pharmacy management systems. Therefore, this information is not stored in an electronic format that can be reported to the PDMP.
19. Can I share PDMP data with other healthcare providers?
The release of PDMP data by a prescriber or dispenser to a licensed healthcare professional solely for treatment purposes in a manner otherwise consistent with State and federal law is not a violation of the PDMP law. Program regulations specify that re-disclosure of PDMP data is allowable for treatment purposes only.
20. How do HIPAA and other health privacy laws affect the PDMP?
DHMH has provided prescription data collected by the PDMP to healthcare providers to support their ability to provide safe and effective treatment to their patients. Access to PDMP data should be considered in a manner similar to accessing other protected health information (PHI) or confidential medical records for treatment purposes.
NOTE: The linked document above is included for reference purposes only and does not constitute an official legal opinion of DHMH.
21. I’m a healthcare practitioner that also dispenses controlled substances to my patients. Do I need to report this dispensing?
22. Who should I contact for more information?
If you have specific questions about CRISP registration or access to PDMP data through the CRISP HIE query portal, contact CRISP at email@example.com or call 877-952-7477. If you have general questions about the PDMP, contact DHMH program administration at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 410-402-8686.
This project was supported by Grant No. 2011-PM-BX-0011 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, the Community Capacity Development Office, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.