Department of Public Health: MassPAT

Prescription Monitoring Program

Engaging physicians to benefit public health

The Challenge

An invaluable tool in the state’s efforts to reduce opioid misuse and addiction, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s (DPH) Massachusetts Prescription Awareness Tool (MassPAT) keeps track of prescription histories and helps doctors make better informed decisions for their patients. After a successful initial rollout, however, DPH struggled with getting busy physicians and procrastinators to register and make consistent use of the system.

What we did

Partnering with DPH, ThinkArgus developed a campaign to encourage prescribers to register, and, more important, use MassPAT regularly in their practices. Our approach was research-based from the start; we conducted phone interviews with prescribers before we kicked-off the creative process, focusing in particular on the barriers to full implementation. What we heard is that prescribers now have so much paperwork to do that spending more time checking MassPAT felt overwhelming. Once we identified the barrier (time), and figured out how long it actually takes to check on a patient, we were able to lower the barrier and focus on what can be at stake – a patient’s life. Built around the tagline “MassPAT: It takes a minute,” our campaign drew an unavoidable connection between the small cost of compliance and the potential human impact involved. health care – with results


Executions included two 4-page inserts in the Journal of the American Medical Association distributed to over 11,000 subscribers in Massachusetts, as well as display and preroll online ads with 11.5 million impressions and over 28,000 click-throughs. Within the initial few months of launch, our campaign resulted in over 19,000 new sessions on MassPAT.

Services providedMarketing, Branding, Advertising, Digital & User Experience, Photography