In response to a December 7, 2016, meeting with the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians and other prescriber associations, the State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO) and the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy (SOBP) have created a new feature in the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS) that allows physicians and their designees to see which prescriptions were not checked. Now when physicians and other prescribers run a “prescriber practice insight report” there will be a column indicating any prescriptions that were not checked. Prescribers must have an OARRS account with the correct Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) numbers attached in order to retrieve this report.
In the December 7 meeting, the OAFP addressed concerns with the threatening emails prescribers have been receiving about OARRS compliance and the fact that email notifications do not pinpoint the patients who are missing OARRS checks. Physicians are spending hours trying to determine why they showed up on the OARRS non-compliance lists and whether the reported non-compliance is real or a result of faulty data.
The SMBO plans to continue to notify licensees who fail to check OARRS before prescribing an opioid or benzodiazepine according to monthly data reports mined from OARRS by the SOBP. But the boards did express a willingness to work with physician organizations to make it easier to determine how to resolve non-compliance issues and to correct problems with data mined that incorrectly suggests a prescriber’s non-compliance to OARRS regulations.
The OAFP offered to provide physicians to serve as members of a focus group to help the boards understand how and why people are getting hung up in the system and why prescribers are showing up when they shouldn’t be. In turn, the boards pledged to try to add a feature to OARRS that would indicate prescriptions not checked and to provide FAQs for dissemination to physicians/prescribers to assist them with navigating OARRS and being in compliance with new laws and regulations.
Furthermore, it does appear that slowly but surely the list is being cleaned up. The SMBO indicated that December’s emails will number 4,000 which is substantially down from the first round of emails sent to 12,000 licensees just three months ago.
Also discussed at length were efforts to integrate electronic medical records (EMRs) with OARRS so that accessing OARRS would be seamless from a practice’s EMR.