Our nation has been crippled by the devastating opioid addiction epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control, opioid drug overdoses played a role in 33,091 deaths in the United States in 2015, and that number is expected to continue to rise.
To address this growing public health crisis, healthcare industry experts must work together to develop innovative and effective solutions. Electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) is one weapon providers can use to help curb fraud and abuse. Digitizing the prescribing process makes it easier for patients to get the chronic pain treatments they need, while making it harder for people to divert and illegally distribute prescription drugs. Providers are beginning to realize the power of EPCS, as evident in Surescripts’ 2015 National Progress Report. According to the report, EPCS increased by 667 percent in 2015 and the number of providers with EPCS technology increased by 359 percent.
Surescripts will host a panel discussion at HIMSS17 to explore how actionable intelligence, including access to medication history data, can help address the opioid crisis. The “Combating the Opioid Epidemic” panel will take place on Monday, February 20 at 3:45 p.m. EST at Surescripts booth #6660. I am excited to be the moderator of the panel and look forward to exploring how information access, data sharing and new technology can help address fraud and abuse. The panel will feature perspectives from care providers and technology developers who are taking action, including:
- Dr. Andrew Coop, Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy
- Karen Hollingsworth, RN, MS, CPHIMS, Senior Director, Clinical & Operational Applications, Health Information Technology & Services, Michigan Medicine
- Dr. Sean Kelly, Chief Medical Officer, Imprivata and ER Physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
For more information on HIMSS17 and our presence at the event, visit himssconference.org and check out the Surescripts blog. Be sure to follow the conversation on Twitter via the @Surescripts handle and #HIMSS17 hashtag.