US drug overdose deaths spiked to a new high in 2017

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Major US electronic health record (EHR) vendor Cerner is joining forceswith medication management solutions provider DrFirst to embed data from 46 states’ prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) into its EHR systems.

For context, PDMPs are state-wide electronic databases that track controlled substance prescriptions, per the CDC. Integrating PDMPs into EHR systems could better inform physicians’ prescribing habits as the opioid epidemic intensifies: The opioid epidemic cost the US approximately $1 trillion from 2001 to 2017, and it’s projected to add on $500 billion by 2020, per Altarium.

Here’s what it means: Connecting EHRs to PDMPs should bode well for physicians.

More streamlined access to PDMPs could help physicians identify and manage patients at risk of abusing opioids. If a physician can quickly call upon information from PDMP databases alongside a patient’s medical history, they could provide more informed care and combat opioid overprescribing. Ensuring they’re not prescribing drugs to patients who are at risk of abusing them could be critical: Nearly 70% of the 70,000 drug overdose deaths in 2017 involved an opioid, according to the CDC. And since doctors are becoming more incentivized to have higher stake in patients’ outcomes, they’ll want to make sure they’re prescribing opioids appropriately.
It’ll also trim down physicians’ administrative burdens. States are pushing for physicians to tap into PDMPs to help inform prescription writing, per EHR Intelligence. But PDMPs can be burdensome for doctors who can’t access the databases from EHR systems. Combining PDMP databases and EHRs into a one-stop shop should streamline workflows …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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