December 14, 2021
Americas’ opioid crisis has been ongoing for a few years now, with the most recent year the deadliest on record. While most of the attention has been paid to distribution and prescribing issues related to opioid use and abuse, technological tools can also empower hospitals, providers, and government agencies to closely track opioid use among patients in an effort to understand drug use and perhaps intervene in a beneficial way.
The goal is to know where every opioid dose comes from and to whom it goes. Too lofty an objective? Perhaps, but software systems and registries at least give interested parties a fighting chance in what has become a devastating plague on both rural and urban American life.
Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP) linked to state drug registries tell government officials who is prescribing and what they are writing scrips for. They tell ED docs when the patient sitting in front of them last received a prescribed opioid. In a nutshell, especially when combined with electronic prescribing of controlled substance (EPCS) tools, PDMPs send up a warning flare that abuse may be happening within a certain geography.