By Scott LaNeve

Technology and well-managed data can be powerful weapons in combatting the opioid epidemic. With the right information at their fingertips, healthcare providers can identify and prevent opioid misuse. At the point of prescribing, providers can have PDMP data ready and waiting in the electronic health record (EHR). Clinical guidelines can be built into automated physician processes and treatment resources can be available to guide clinical decision making.

In the absence of technology, “clinicians and prescribers are robbed of crucial insights and forced to forage for data manually—trying to make optimal care decisions and deliver adequate pain management without the best intelligence to do so,” according to Paul Uhrig, Surescripts Chief Administrative, Legal and Privacy Officer.

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives launched an Opioid Task Force in 2018 to combat the opioid epidemic using health IT. The task force has created a playbook designed to offer up-to-date IT-based leading practices for addressing opioid addiction. The playbook covers strategies for creating an opioid stewardship committee, building a dashboard, facilitating provider and patient education, integrating the PDMP into the workflow and managing order sets for patient monitoring. 

Integrating technology into an opioid stewardship plan can be daunting for a healthcare system. Service providers have stepped up to the plate to offer software as a service options that assist in identifying and preventing opioid misuse as part of the clinical decision-making process. hc1 Opioid Advisor™ can play a significant role in simplifying the decision making workflow. Solutions from Affirm Health, DrFirst, Cerner, OpidSafe and others can also play a role in automating portions of the decision-making process. 

As more options enter the market health system leaders must weigh their options carefully against their needs and budgets to choose best-fit solutions.

When evaluating IT solutions for opioid stewardship, some key features to look for are:

  • Report clarity and ease of use
  • Time savings for healthcare providers and staff
  • EHR integration
  • PDMP integration
  • Workflow automation
  • Ability to manage to clinical guidelines
  • Positive impact on patient care
  • Affordability

Request a demo to learn how hc1 Opioid Advisor™ can improve prescribing workflow through integration of LIS (laboratory information system) and PDMP systems to analyze the consistency of toxicology results compared to PDMP data.

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