2017-11-08 / Front Page

Prescription drug monitoring equips medical providers with valuable information

Another step forward in the fight against the opioid crisis was taken today by Deaconess Health System, in partnership with Indiana’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (INSPECT) by integrating its entire hospital network to give providers access to a patient’s prescription history. This information can be used by practitioners at every encounter to inform and educate patients on their prescriptions.

“Our pilot programs in the emergency department, pain management offices and hospital-based physician practices were so successful we decided to move forward with system-wide integration,” said Dr. Gina Huhnke, Director of Medical Affairs and Emergency Medicine at Deaconess. “The information available to our physicians has proven to be invaluable in identifying patients who are addicted to drugs and actively seeking narcotics, as well as those at risk for unintentional overdose, such as elderly patients who see multiple prescriber and are taking a combination of controlled substances.”

Earlier this year, Deaconess participated in the first state-led pilot program to provide the INSPECT solution to 300 practitioners. For hospitals like Deaconess, the integration of INSPECT data gives physicians a report that condenses the data search process from nearly five minutes to mere seconds, providing a fast and effective mechanism to verify a patient’s controlled substance prescription history.

Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb formally launched the statewide integration initiative in August during a Commission to Combat Drug Abuse meeting, which is led by Jim McClelland, the state’s first executive director for drug prevention, treatment and enforcement.

The statewide initiative, in partnership with the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (IPLA), the Indiana Board of Pharmacy and the state’s vendor APPRISS Health, which provides access to INSPECT data, is one piece in a broader strategic plan led by McClelland to provide a comprehensive, community-based approach to solving the state’s opioid crisis.

“The statewide integration initiative is one step toward reducing prescription drug addiction, and I applaud Deaconess for tackling this issue head on,” said Deborah Frye, IPLA Executive Director. “I look forward to developing additional partnerships across the state to equip medical professionals with the tools needed to assist their patients.”

To access the application to integrate your healthcare organization or to learn more about the INSPECT program, please visit the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency website. To learn more about Governor Holcomb’s plan to attack the opioid epidemic, visit www.in.gov/recovery.

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