Leap Orbit debuts medication monitoring suite to help fight opioid crisis

Machine learning and Smart on FHIR work with controlled substance and prescription drug monitoring data to aid clinicians in the battle against overdoses.
By Bill Siwicki
04:13 PM
opioid crisis

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 90 people lose their lives to an opioid overdose each day in the U.S. While the crisis defies easy answers, many experts say technology has an important role to play.

To that end, Leap Orbit has just launched its RxOrbit suite of systems designed to help combat the opioid epidemic. Prescription drug monitoring is the key to the suite, officials said.

[Also: Michigan law requires providers check state's PDMP before prescribing opioids]

"We've taken technologies like machine learning and Smart on FHIR and applied them to the world of controlled substance data," said Mrinal Bhasker, a Leap Orbit partner. "This is a no-brainer now that every state requires pharmacies to submit data to a prescription drug monitoring program, and nearly thirty states require prescribers and dispensers to check for a history of dependence or drug-seeking."

RxOrbit delivers PDMP data directly to a clinician's fingertips in flexible ways that work into workflows. In addition to supporting Smart on FHIR, RxOrbit's open architecture enables hospitals, health systems and pharmacies to develop their own integrations using a range of standards. An open platform not only better serves the needs of the healthcare community, it is also significantly more cost-effective, Leap Orbit contended.

[Also: OCR revamps HIPAA guidance in wake of opioid crisis, 21st Century Cures rules]

"RxOrbit gives prescribers and dispensers more control over the information they need to make better decisions," said David Finney, another Leap Orbit partner. "This benefits healthcare organizations, but it will also benefit the patients they serve."

The RxOrbit suite includes a data platform, Leap Orbit's InWorkflow app, a data validation toolkit and its Overdose Fatality Review app. The suite is built on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, which provides enterprise security, scalability and high availability.

Tools and strategies such as these are increasingly being used to combat the opioid crisis.

Another vendor with a strong presence in the opioid prescription drug monitoring space is Appriss Health. It offers real-time data analytics systems for provider organizations, pharmacies and state governments.

On another front, Mercy Health serves patients battling opioid addiction in some of the most afflicted locations in the country, including Ohio and Kentucky. With annual opioid overdose death rates at twice the U.S. average in Ohio, the Mercy Health team faces the terrible reality of the opioid crisis every day.

Mercy Health implemented a Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment protocol via its electronic health record. Patients, for instance, are given a detailed substance abuse prescreen questionnaire at the start of their first visit. Based on the prescreen response generated in the patient's EHR, staff determines next steps in intervention with the patient.

The public health focus of SBIRT – in essence, screening everyone versus screening only patients who present to the emergency department with drug use problems and related injuries – allows for normalization of a topic that is often difficult for many patients and providers to discuss. SBIRT helps reduce the stigma attached to conferring about alcohol and drug use, and boosts dialogue in a way that is more comfortable and beneficial for patients and providers.

Opioid Crisis: Tech fights epidemic

Learn how tech is being used to battle abuse.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com

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