Send to

Choose Destination
J Family Med Prim Care. 2017 Jan-Mar;6(1):52-57. doi: 10.4103/2249-4863.214959.

Implementation of a Schedule II patient agreement for opioids and stimulants in an adult primary care practice.

Author information

Internal Medicine Associates, Durham, NC, USA.
Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, NC, USA.
Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA.



The consumption of controlled substances in North Carolina and the nation has created a health crisis with epidemic levels of medication diversion, abuse, overdose and death. Primary care providers are the principal prescribers of controlled substances and at greatest risk of encountering patients that abuse medications. Guidelines recommend patient agreements with monitoring requirements when prescribing opioids and stimulants. Studies have focused on opioids and excluded stimulants. Adherence to recommended monitoring requirements has not been fully evaluated.


This was a quality improvement project using the Plan-Do-Check-Act procedure. The following outcome measures were evaluated: signed agreement on file, prescription monitoring program (pmp) checks, urine screens, and prescriptions written without a mandatory visit.


Who: patients aged 19 and over prescribed a long-term Schedule II medication for the chronic conditions of pain and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. What: implemented a patient agreement and measured fidelity to components of the agreement. When: seven months pre- to seven months post-implementation. Where: in an adult primary care practice with approximately 2,500 patients. How: an agreement was implemented with monthly feedback provided.


Post-implementation, 94% of patients meeting criteria had a signed agreement in their medical record. Adherence to urine screening improved from 5.3% to 71.1%. Guideline adherence to pmp checks improved from 11.3% to 99.0%. Guideline deviation for prescriptions written without a visit improved from 20.6% to 0%. All improvements were statistically significant (P < .001).


A Schedule II controlled substance patient agreement was successfully implemented in a primary care practice reducing risk for both the patient and provider.


Adherence monitoring; adult; controlled substances; patient agreement; prescription opioids; primary care

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Medknow Publications and Media Pvt Ltd Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center