How to Talk to Patients About the PMP
By Joey Berlin


The new state mandate for physicians to use Texas’ prescription monitoring program (PMP) is part of the state’s overall response to the opioid epidemic, Michael Mackert, PhD, director of the Center for Health Communication at The University of Texas at Austin, told physicians.

Speaking at the Texas Medical Association 2020 Winter Conference, Dr. Mackert addressed physicians’ concerns about talking to patients about the PMP, which prescribers will be required to check before issuing any prescription for opioids, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, or carisoprodol beginning March 1.

During his talk, Dr. Mackert broke down a two-year project in which the Center for Health Communication focused, in part, on those difficult conversations. The center collaborated with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP) on the project. One result of the project is a prescriber communication toolkit available on the TSBP website.

“It’s a public health tool, not a thing to catch bad doctors [and] bad patients, which is something we heard in a lot of our formative research. That’s people’s perceptions” of PMPs, he said. “Also think of it as a tool to make the appropriate prescribing decision. Because opioids are not bad, and the state was really clear on that, too. This [isn’t meant] to be a scare-people-out-of-prescribing-opioids effort, and that’s not what people should be hearing from what we’re telling them.”

Find more information, including a tool to determine if the PMP is integrated into your electronic health record system, on the TMA website.

Last Updated On

February 28, 2020

Originally Published On

January 31, 2020