In 2016, 42,200 Americans, or nearly five people every hour, died from opioid-related overdose. And according to a 2017 Council of Economic Advisers report, the opioid epidemic cost the nation $504 billion in economic losses in 2015, or 2.8 percent of the GDP that year.
In fact, the opioid crisis ranks as the greatest public health emergency we have faced since the AIDS epidemic, with more deaths from drug overdoses in 2015 than from AIDS when it reached its peak in the mid-1990s.
In his new paper, “Changing the Course of the Opioid Epidemic: The Power and Promise of Proven Technology,” Paul Uhrig, Surescripts Chief Administrative, Legal and Privacy Officer, outlines how technology can help address two key challenges of the opioid epidemic: drug diversion, including the illegal use of prescription opioids, and clinical appropriateness, including effective uses of opioids for patients with legitimate needs.
Technology can help fight the opioid epidemic, but only when it’s deployed and used in the course of delivering care.
As Paul states, “Technology can help fight the opioid epidemic, but only when it’s deployed and used in the course of delivering care. In its absence, clinicians and prescribers are robbed of crucial insights and forced to forage for data manually—trying to make optimal care decisions and deliver adequate pain management without the best intelligence to do so.”
The opioid crisis calls on the healthcare industry to bring a variety of tools and resources to the forefront. This includes building industrywide awareness of the powerful and promising technologies that are available right now. These technologies can support healthcare professionals who are on the front line by informing their care decisions with more actionable intelligence at the point of care.
Download the paper to learn more about the technologies that can help.