Public Administration ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 8-30-2017


The effectiveness of a prescription drug monitoring program in coordination with a prescription opioid recidivism program was examined at a semi-rural community hospital. Patients were identified by a multi-disciplinary committee to be at-risk for opioid misuse or abuse, and were denied prescription opioids. Patients were considered eligible for the program if they had over 12 emergency department visits in the previous 12 months, or 6 visits in the previous 6 months, depending on how long the hospital had records on a patient. Patients who were placed in the prescription opioid recidivism program could not receive opioids at this hospital. The number of visits these patients had in subsequent 12 month periods was examined. Of the 298 patients enrolled in the recidivism program, 95% of them would see a reduction in the number of emergency department visits made in the 12 months following enrollment in the recidivism program. This resulted in a savings of $2.5 million in operations for the hospital. The use of prescription drug monitoring programs to combat the opioid epidemic shows potential as a solution, but needs to be examined further to determine how effective these systems can be.

Degree Name

Public Administration

Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Public Administration

First Committee Member (Chair)

Kate Cartwright

Second Committee Member

Nicholas Edwardson

Third Committee Member

Kun Huang




Public administration, opioids, recidivism, emergency department, emergency medicine, health administration

Document Type