From 1999 to 2016, more than 350,000 people died from an overdose involving opioids (including prescription and illicit opioids) according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
No state or town is immune to this epidemic. In 2016, drug-related overdoses in Pennsylvania claimed the lives of 13 people every day. Geisinger Medical Center saw more than 2,000 patients admitted to its facilities for overdoses between 2005 and 2015. Nearly 10 percent of these patients overdosed fatally within 12 months of their first admission.
Although most of these patients saw a primary care physician within Geisinger, only 9 percent had a prescription for naloxone, an emergency medication used to reverse opioid overdoses.
Understanding the health system’s accountability to increase emphasis on safer prescribing practices for opioid-addicted patients, Geisinger took charge by implementing a series of initiatives designed to highlight safe and effective treatment options, educate providers on pain management best practices and maximize monitoring tool usage.
Geisinger developed a system-wide dashboard into its electronic medical records (EMRs) to better capture and collate controlled substance data with increased accessibility for providers. The dashboard provides access to real-time data that can be viewed at the patient, prescriber, region, or system level to identify and target key areas of use. This data is included in an automated monthly report which highlights areas of opportunity through targeted interventions with providers and patients to discuss education and awareness of opioid tapering strategies and referrals as needed.
All of the data generated in the monthly report is then reviewed by Geisinger’s pharmacy and medical directors. Following this, Geisinger implemented EMR tools aimed at improving clinicians’ use of Pennsylvania’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) for queries and accurate documentations, as required by Pennsylvania state law.
HIMSS Analytics is proud to recognize Geisinger for its validation as a Stage 7 health system, as tracked by the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM℠). The health system validated at Stage 7 for the outpatient adoption model as well.
“Geisinger is a physician led, data-driven organization,” said Philip W. Bradley, FHIMSS; regional director for North America, HIMSS Analytics. “To address the opioid epidemic, Geisinger is doing more than reducing prescriptions. It is taking a holistic approach to ensure the patient’s needs are managed.”
“Geisinger is honored to achieve EMRAM Stage 7 from HIMSS Analytics for both the acute and ambulatory settings,” said Lynn Miller, executive vice president and chief administrative officer for the clinical enterprise. “The utilization of our electronic health data allows us to review our processes to continually improve by re-education, changing processes and implementing new processes. We strive to provide our patients with the best possible outcomes through innovative technologies.”
Read another Stage 7 success story: Improving Neonatal Outcomes with Streamlined Documentation