Due to advances in medical field, there are medications that can help with almost any condition such as chronic pain, anxiety, ADHD, etc. However, a lot of them are addictive and also used illicitly. That’s why it’s imperative to use UDC (Urine Drug Confirmation) testing in your medical practice. Here are three important reasons why:
1. UDC Testing determine your patients compliance with the treatment protocol. It can easily show if medication is being taken consistently or there is a compliance issue that needs to be addressed.
2. Self medication can also be determined. When patients are in pain, self medication is a tempting option. Patients may take more doses than prescribed or turn to other medications or illicit substances to ease their pain. Confirmation testing shows if the patient is compliant with their current prescription, and it will show if they are on anything in addition to the medications being prescribed by your practice.
3. UDC establishes a baseline. If your practice has a standard protocol in place, patients cannot argue that they are being singled out or accused of something. With the rising rates of doctor shopping and pill seeking, testing all new patients helps protect practices from these unwanted activities and allows the provider to confirm if the patients are on anything (whether prescribed by another provider or as a result of self-medication) before prescribing anything.
UDC should be explained to the patient and agreement obtained. It’s very important that the patient understands that the UDC is a normal part of treatment protocol and what warrants a test — “If you meet condition A, B, or C, you will be tested.” Many patients get offended when a UDC is required and it should be explained what the purpose is. Drug testing has a bad connotation, but providers should explain that they are not looking to catch someone doing something wrong rather they are trying to confirm that their treatment plan is working. If a patient’s results are inconsistent with their treatment plan, it should be discussed without blame or accusation. Why are they not taking their medicine? Yes, it could be that they are diverting it, but they also may have stopped because it was causing them to have side effects that they deemed intolerable. Why are they taking something that was not prescribed? It may be recreational use, prescribed by another provider, or self-medication.
UDC should be an integral part of any practice that prescribes narcotics. No matter what the patient’s intent is, veering from a providers established treatment plan can be dangerous or life threatening. Providers can be better informed and have increased peace of mind by implementing UDC into their daily practice.
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