Health Information Technology and Doctor Shopping: A Systematic Review




Kruse, Clemens S.
Kindred, Brady
Brar, Shaneel
Gutierrez, Guillermo
Cormier, Kaleigh

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Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute


Doctor shopping is the practice of visiting multiple physicians to obtain multiple prescriptions. Health information technology (HIT) allows healthcare providers and patients to leverage records or shared information to improve effective care. Our research objective was to determine how HIT is being leveraged to control for doctor shopping. We analyzed articles that covered a 10-year time period from four databases and reported using preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA). We compared intervention, study design, and bias, in addition to showing intervention interactions with facilitators, barriers, and medical outcomes. From 42 articles published from six countries, we identified seven interventions, five facilitator themes with two individual observations, three barrier themes with six individual observations, and two medical outcome themes with four individual observations. Multiple HIT mechanisms exist to control for doctor shopping. Some are associated with a decrease in overdose mortality, but access is not universal or compulsory, and data sharing is sporadic. Because shoppers travel hundreds of miles in pursuit of prescription drugs, data sharing should be an imperative. Research supports leveraging HIT to control doctor shopping, yet without robust data sharing agreements, the efforts of the system are limited to the efforts of the entity with the least number of barriers to their goal. Shoppers will seek out and exploit that organization that does not require participation or checking of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP), and the research shows that they will drive great distances to exploit this weakest link.



prescription drug monitoring program, pharma cloud, doctor shopping, PDMP


Kruse, C. S., Kindred, B., Brar, S., Gutierrez, G., & Cormier, K. (2020). Health information technology and doctor shopping: A systematic review. Healthcare, 8(3), 306.


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