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Online tools from the state have new features
e-Reports, March 7, 2011
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Two state registries, both created by state law, have announced new features of importance to assist you.

If you sign death certificates, you are required to file them electronically through the Indiana Death Registry System (IDRS). The ISMA has heard from members about the complexity of using this system (see Jan. 24 and Feb. 7 issues of ISMA Reports), and the state has subsequently introduced a new training option.

While you are not required to use the Web-based Indiana Scheduled Prescription Electronic Collection and Tracking (INSPECT) program, state officials urge you to register for it. Alerts the system began sending recently can help identify patients who may be abusing or misusing your prescriptions.

Here are more detail about each of these programs.

New training can help you reduce filing time for death certificates
Need help learning to complete or speed up the filing of a death certificate through the new electronic registry system? The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) has designed a new tutorial that will walk you through the process and help you complete a death certificate within a few minutes.

Go to "Training Tutorials" on the IDRS website and look for the link "Physicians - Learn to Complete a Death Certificate in 10 Minutes or Less." In the video, ISDH Director of Vital Records Erin Kellams demonstrates the system page by page.

Additionally, the ISDH offers an archived webinar that will help you become familiar with the new IDRS website.

The online training sessions are in response to frustrations you reported to the ISMA. "In January, we met with the ISDH staff to let them know about the problems our members were experiencing with the new system," said Mike Rinebold, ISMA Government Relations director. "Hopefully, the new online tools will make the process less complicated for our members."

During the January meeting, the ISMA requested the IDRS help desk be available around the clock by phone or e-mail and asked for daily e-mail notices until a death certificate is completed.

"We are continuing to work with the ISDH," noted Rinebold. "Both parties agreed that physicians were having trouble registering with the program, and I think the ISDH is making a good-faith effort to resolve these issues."

INSPECT may be one of your most important practice tools
If you are not registered with the state’s online Indiana Scheduled Prescription Electronic Collection and Tracking (INSPECT) program, you may be missing out on a helpful assistant in caring for pain management patients and others.

INSPECT is a free Web-based system that tracks all schedule II through V controlled substances dispensed in the state. You can register and then search your patient’s controlled substance history before making treatment decisions.

The program provides you:

  • Patient prescription history reports
  • Person of interest alerts
  • A self-lookup tool that allows you to view your full controlled substance prescribing history

Alerts with patient names
Recently, the program began sending alerts to both users and nonusers of INSPECT about patients who have exceeded dispensing guidelines. The purpose of the unsolicited reports is to provide information to help you decide if you want to continue treating patients named in the alerts.

If patients receive controlled substance prescriptions from more than 10 practitioners in a 60-day span, their names may appear in an INSPECT alert. For the top 25 percent of that group, notification is sent by mail or e-mail to every practitioner who wrote a controlled substance prescription for that patient in those 60 days.

“Physicians should note that they are immune from civil liability for an injury, death or loss to a person solely due to their seeking or not seeking information from the INSPECT database,” said ISMA Legal Counsel Julie Reed.

Reporting patients
You also are legally protected if you report information to law enforcement based on INSPECT data, thanks to a law that took effect last July. It states, “A practitioner who in good faith discloses information based on a report from the INSPECT program to a law enforcement agency is immune from criminal or civil liability.”

Reed cautioned that protection extends only to information based on an INSPECT report. Any other disclosure to law enforcement will likely require a subpoena.

Find details about INSPECT and register on the INSPECT website.

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