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AK Hospitals Connect to State Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Hospitals across Alaska can access health data within the state’s prescription drug monitoring program at the point of care.

Alaska hospitals will soon have access to the state prescription drug monitoring program.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- Hospitals throughout Alaska recently connected to the state’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) through care collaboration network Collective Medical as part of an effort to enable safer prescribing practices.

The connection follows Alaska’s 2017 statewide deployment of the Collective network and platform. The rollout was a collaboration between the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association (ASHNHA), the state of Alaska, and the Alaska Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (AK-ACEP).

By equipping healthcare providers throughout the state with clinically relevant prescription drug information, Collective Medical will help to curb the opioid epidemic, improve care coordination, and enable better-informed clinical decision-making and medication prescribing.

“The goal isn’t to simply avoid writing a prescription for opiates,” said ASHNHA President and CEO Becky Hultberg. “With the insights delivered through Collective by the PDMP, providers can change the conversation with a patient who has a possible addiction problem. Physicians can direct them toward help and coordinate with the patient’s broader care team to put them on the path to health.”

In addition to deploying the Collective network and platform, ASHNHA and AK-ACEP have worked to develop and promote the adoption of evidence-based, clinical prescribing guidelines among Alaska providers.

Providers at hospitals across the state—including Palmer-based Mat-Su Regional Medical Center — have already benefitted from a connection to the Collective network.

“At Mat-Su, specifically, we’ve seen a 61 percent reduction in opioid scripts written between 2015 and 2017 and a 47 percent reduction in opioids given in the emergency department,” said Mat-Su Regional Medical Center Emergency Medicine Director Anne Zink, MD.

The connection between the Collective network and Alaska’s PDMP is facilitated by Appriss Health’s PMP Gateway clinical workflow integration solution. Providers in a variety of care settings — including emergency departments — will have access to real-time, up-to-date prescription information. Health

“Early feedback indicates the collaboration between ASHNHA, AK-ACEP and the State of Alaska is making a huge impact not just on the opioid epidemic, but on delivering better care to all patients,” said Collective Medical CEO Chris Klomp.

“We’re honored and proud to support this effort; it’s an example of how we can make an incredible impact, collectively, when working toward the common goal of catching patients before they fall,” he continued.

Washington, California, Oregon, Massachusetts, Virginia, New Mexico, and other states currently utilize the Collective network. Collective Medical serves in-patient clinics, accountable care organizations, health plans, long-term and post-acute care providers, hospitals, and risk-bearing organizations.

Collective network users have access to real-time, risk-adjusted event notification and care collaboration solutions for use in emergency, inpatient, post-acute, mental, behavioral, and ambulatory care settings.

In addition to ASHNA, AK-ACEP, and the state of Alaska, healtheConnect Alaska is also working to improve provider access to prescription drug information through a connection with a PDMP.

The health information exchange (HIE) recently launched an initiative to allow HIE access to PDMPs. The initiative allows providers to search for patient EHRs within the state database and access a more comprehensive picture of a patient’s controlled substance and prescription history.

By improving provider access to patient prescription data, healtheConnect Alaska leadership hopes to help providers more easily spot patients who may be visiting multiple doctors for several prescriptions or misusing prescription drugs.

Enabling HIE access to the state PDMP is another way of offering Alaska providers a more complete view of a patient’s prescription history for safer prescribing habits.

By improving PDMP use and access across HIEs, hospitals, and healthcare organizations, the state is working to reduce opioid-related deaths and overdoses.

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