Use of prescription drug monitoring program to audit opioid prescribing patterns for patients with symptomatic nephrolithiasis

Rahima Khatun, Matthew Galida, Necole M. Streeper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION The opioid epidemic is a growing problem in the United States. There is a high rate of opioid oversupply for treatment of symptomatic nephrolithiasis, partly due to patients being seen by multiple providers. In Pennsylvania, there are efforts to integrate a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) within the electronic medical record (EMR). The objectives of this study were to evaluate prescribing practices for opioids for symptomatic nephrolithiasis and the incidence of prescriptions not documented within the EMR. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Adults who presented for treatment of symptomatic nephrolithiasis were sequentially evaluated from May - October 2017 at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. With IRB approval, we evaluated opioids prescribed in the EMR, which was compared to the PDMP for each stone episode. We calculated daily morphine milligram equivalents (MME) and total MME available to patients. RESULTS: A total of 301 patients were identified (52% male) with a mean age of 50.0 +/- 16.7 years and 249 (83%) of patients were prescribed narcotics with an average of 226.8 +/- 232.2 MME for their stone episode. Of patients that were prescribed narcotics, 19% had additional narcotics prescribed to them that were not entered into the EMR and later identified using PDMP. The average additional opioid prescribed was 371.8 +/- 404.2 total MME. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of patients presenting with symptomatic nephrolithiasis were prescribed an opioid. Approximately one-fifth of patients were receiving opioids from other providers that were not documented in the EMR at the time of their opioid prescription. PDMP, or similar resources, should be utilized by providers to minimize opioid use and reduce oversupplying patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10542-10546
Number of pages5
JournalThe Canadian journal of urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Urology


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