Opioid intelligence tools helping hospitals make safer Rx decisions

Technologies to give physicians the ability see PDMP data within their EHR workflows are enabling them to spot doctor shoppers and make smarter prescriptions, says KLAS.
By Mike Miliard
09:12 AM

U.S. health systems are availing themselves of prescription intelligence software to ensure they're not overprescribing opioids, or prescribing them to people who shouldn't have them.

A new report from KLAS takes stock of the marketplace and finds that, regardless of which vendors they choose, hospitals are finding quality and safety benefits with the EHR-linked tools – and improving the effectiveness of opioid stewardship programs that in many cases didn't exist even a few years ago.

For the report, KLAS surveyed providers to get their opinions of leading prescription intelligence vendors, including AffirmHealth, Appriss Health, Collective Medical Technologies, DrFirst and PastRx.

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PastRx was ranked as the top fully-rated vendor, as its customers liked its ability to preemptively pull data from state prescription drug monitoring programs and integrate it directly into the EHR. It offers a "clear, detailed history of opioid prescriptions, dosages, and fill times," said researchers. Providers "are very satisfied with the various available methods to get PDMP data in front of physicians," according to the KLAS study. EHR integration allows to "pop-up alerts (to) identify high-risk patients, and users can access detailed report data in a separate tab or through a single sign-on link

Clients of AffirmHealth, meanwhile, which are primarily pain management practices, say it's helped them achieve "positive outcomes and high value," said KLAS – gaining them "cost-effective" workflow efficiencies. Its customers report that it has helped them stay compliant with opioid regulations and spot mismatched prescriptions, preventing adverse events.

Collective Medical Technologies, which is tailored and validated for hospital emergency departments, was praised by end-users for its intuitive workflow and ability to help flag patients who may be at risk of opioid-use disorder. While it had the "lowest impact ratings among measured vendors, almost all respondents report a positive impact of some kind," according to KLAS.

And DrFirst and Appriss Health have each also helped their customers improve the decision-making behind their opioid prescribing practices by "sharing vital information at the point of care," said KLAS researchers. The former's RcopiaAC offers an intuitive way to generate detailed reports on prescribing practices, clients reported. The latter's NarxScores gives color-coded risk assessments that enable physicians to see detailed risk scores and reports.

In recent years, we've reported extensively on how hospitals and health systems are customizing their EHRs, implementing new surveillance tools, leveraging analytics and rolling out new decision support software in an all-hands-on-deck effort to make smarter prescribing decisions in the battle against the opioid crisis.

From clinical documentation improvement to HIPAA and privacy policies, every little bit helps, and there's much that technology can do to help providers protect their patients and populations.

"Opioid prescription intelligence solutions combat the challenge of accessing data from prescription drug monitoring programs by pulling this crucial information into the EMR workflow," said KLAS researchers. "Hospitals and practices are seeing great success with these solutions – organizations consistently report they can better identify opiate seekers, reduce dangerous prescription mismatches, improve prescribing habits, and advance their opioid-stewardship strategies."

Digital Transformation in Healthcare

In May, we'll talk to experts and professionals on the front lines about what's really happening today with the digital transformation in healthcare and what hospital executives need to be doing right now.

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media.

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