Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,058,233)
Project Abstract Summary:
As we have seen across the U.S., drug overdose deaths increased to historic levels with the highest rates among Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander persons at 44%. In the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), 81 non-fatal drug overdoses were reported between 2020 – 2022. To combat this potential impact on our community, the CNMI Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), through this award, will focus on preventing the diversion and misuse of pharmaceutically controlled substances such as opioids and other prescription drugs.
The Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC), manages and operates the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMl) sole hospital, ancillary services including inpatient and outpatient pharmacy, laboratory, radiology, operates a Medicare-certified dialysis unit, oversees behavioral health services, all public health services, and the CNMI Health and Vital Statistics Office (HVSO). The CHCC also manages the only healthcare services on the islands of Tinian and Rota: Tinian Health Center (THC) and Rota Health Center (RHC). The CHCC is responsible for all inpatient and emergency care operations in the CNMI, most outpatient visits, behavioral health, and substance abuse prevention services. With the extensive, integrated services offered from the organization, the CHCC is the most appropriate entity to reduce, detect, and prevent the diversion and misuse of pharmaceutically controlled substances such as opioids and other prescription drugs to keep our islands safe.
The Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC), through this award, proposes to implement the CNMI CHCC Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). The purpose is to continue implementing, enhancing, modernizing, and strengthening PDMP efforts to develop and test innovative strategies and implement evidence-based approaches that demonstrate the impact of expanded use of PDMP data to support decision-making. Primary project activities include 1) expanding CNMI CHCC PDMP data sharing across state lines/interstate interoperability; 2) Implementing universal use among clinicians and their delegates within the CNMI; 3) possessing more timely or real-time data contained within the CNMI PDMP; 4) actively managing the CNMI CHCC PDMP in part by sending proactive (or unsolicited) reports to clinicians to inform prescribing and patient care; and 5) ensuring that the CNMI CHCC PDMP is easy to use and access by clinicians.
By taking these steps to prevent diversion, better track-controlled substance dispensing, and improve prescribing practices we can strengthen the capacity in responding to any future diversion and misuse of pharmaceutically controlled substances.