Prescribing Safely

Safe Care for All of Illinois

Woman Smiling

Overview: After rigorous training prepares them to meet the highest practice standards, prescribing psychologists, like all other healthcare providers, are committed to providing the most effective treatment for their patients.

Emerging empirical research has clearly demonstrated that prescribing psychologists provide safe and effective treatment for their patients.

• The first psychologists to prescribe were military psychologists in 1992.. In 2002 and in 2004, civilian psychologists earned prescriptive authority in the states of New Mexico and Louisiana. Since then, psychologists have been prescribing in the United States Public Health Service, Indian reservations under the aegis of the Indian Health Service (IHS), in the United States Coast Guard, and, most recently, in the United States territory of Guam. The results have been unequivocally successful:

- After writing hundreds of thousands of prescriptions over a period of 20 years, not one complaint has been made against a prescribing psychologist

- over a period of 20 years, not one malpractice suit has been filed against a prescribing psychologist

- A 2010 (or 2011?) survey of family physicians who refer patients to prescribing psychologists in the Army Medical Command’s Western Region found that overwhelming majorities believe that prescribing psychologists not only prescribe “safely,” but that prescribing psychologists have “improved” patient care

- Dr. Robert Sherrill, Chair of the New Mexico Psychology Licensing Board, has stated that from the time that New Mexico prescribing psychologists first wrote prescriptions in 2004, no complaints alleging patient harm by prescribing psychologists have ever been filed with the State Board and no allegations of improper or inappropriate prescribing have ever been filed with the New Mexico State Board of Pharmacy.

- The Chief Executive officer of the Insurance Trust of the American Psychological Association (APAIT) has reported that there have never been any complaints filed with APAIT against prescribing psychologists.

• In a 2008 empirical review of the work of the prescribing psychologist, it was noted that prescribing psychologists are careful diagnosticians, taking comprehensive histories as they formulate diagnostic impressions, treatment plans, and referral recommendations.

• Patient Richard Magee sings high praise of the integrative care that he received in New Mexico from prescribing psychologist Dr. Elaine LeVine:

- “I was referred to you for psychotherapy right after my family’s horrific tragedy. … Not only have you been extremely careful in prescribing medicines, always making sure that I understand what they do and what kinds of sideoeffects they may have, you have masterfully coupled this with the kind of listening and analysis no one I know who only sees a psychiatrist receives.” – Magee in a letter to New Mexico officials

Prescribing psychologists will prescribe in collaboration with the other healthcare providers who are caring for their patients. Coordination of care is essential in the provision of excellent and effective treatment.

Illinois prescribing psychologists are ready to tackle the state’s mental health care crisis to make the RxP Difference. Prescribing psychologists around the nation have a proven track record of care, meeting the highest levels ofsafety standards,patient satisfaction, and collegial commendation.