The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) 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 who provide medical care to an individual with whom they have an existing treatment relationship. 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.
- Prescriber: Licensed healthcare practitioners who are authorized to prescribe controlled substances (i.e. registered with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and, for Maryland-licensed practitioners, the MDH Office of Controlled Substances Administration) may register for a user account. This includes physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, dentists, and podiatrists.
- Delegator: A health care provider who is in one of the two above prescriber or pharmacist roles. A delegator is a person who has been credentialed to access the PDMP to review the controlled substance prescription history of a patient, and who determines that having a staff member (a “Delegate”) assist with PDMP patient searches will benefit their workflow. Click here to access the Delegator Fact Sheet and the CRISP Delegator Dashboard User Guide
- Pharmacist: Licensed pharmacists may register for a user account.
- Delegate: As of October 1, 2016, delegates may include any staff member, licensed or unlicensed, that is delegated access by a PDMP-registered prescriber or pharmacist and is employed by or under contract with the same practice as the prescriber or pharmacist. Each delegate must obtain her/his own CRISP account for PDMP access; sharing of user credentials is strictly prohibited. Click here to access the Delegate Fact Sheet and ULP PDMP Search Guide for Delegates
2. How do I get access to PDMP data?
Healthcare providers, including prescribers, pharmacists, and delegates, 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?
CRISP is the authorized entity for clinical users to access PDMP data. All registered providers can access PDMP data through the CRISP portal. Some providers may also have access to PDMP data through one or more electronic integrations between CRISP and a hospital or facility’s EHR. Finally some providers may access PDMP data through an authorized 3rd party vendor.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-95-CRISP 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).
For more information, contact CRISP at email@example.com or 877-952-7477
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, or 'delegators', who are authorized by law to prescribe or dispense controlled substances may delegate any staff member, licensed or unlicensed, who is employed by or under contract with the same practice as the prescriber or pharmacist 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. Delegates, such as office staff, may only access the PDMP data in order to provide it to a delegating prescriber or pharmacists.
Delegator Fact Sheet and the CRISP Delegator Dashboard User Guide
Delegate Fact Sheet and the ULP PDMP Search Guide for Delegates
8. How current is PDMP data?
The PDMP requires dispensers to report within 1 business day 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?
Contact CRISP at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-95-CRISP (27477) for login support.
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 email@example.com 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 day. 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 a day prior, contact the PDMP at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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?
MDH 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.
The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPAA) Privacy Rule contains a number of exceptions that allow states to exercise authority in the areas of public health, oversight of health care operations, law enforcement and others. Maryland’s PDMP law establishes a program with data collection and disclosure requirements that are in line with these exceptions. For a more detailed analysis of HIPAA applicability to PDMP operations, see the National Alliance for Model State Drug Law’s “Health InsurancePortability and Accountability Act Privacy Rule and Prescription DrugMonitoring Programs.”
NOTE: The linked document above is included for reference purposes only and does not constitute an official legal opinion of MDH
21. I’m a healthcare practitioner that also dispenses controlled substances to my patients. Do I need to report this dispensing?
Yes. Please see the Dispensers section for more information about the PDMP reporting requirement.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877-952-7477. If you have general questions about the PDMP, contact MDH program administration at email@example.com or call 410-402-8686