Electronic Health Records

Integration & Interoperability News

Maryland HIE connects to state drug database to cut overdoses

By Jennifer Bresnick

- The Chesapeake Regional Information System for Our Patients (CRISP), Maryland’s state health information exchange, has announced integration with the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) through its web-based query portal.  The link between health information systems will help providers access data on patients with potential drug abuse habits and connect them with treatment that could lower future costs and raise the likelihood of recovery.

“Drug abuse is a critical public health challenge in Maryland and nationwide, and driving down the number of Marylanders who die from drug overdoses is a priority for our administration,” said Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. “We know that treatment is a valuable tool in helping people recover from drug addiction and reduce their long-term risk of overdose. The PDMP will allow doctors and other health care providers to access valuable information that will assist them in identifying Marylanders at risk and better connect them to the treatment they need.”

“We’re very excited to partner with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to implement the PDMP,” added David Horrocks, CRISP’s Chief Executive Officer. “Combining these two major health information technology projects will allow us to better serve the needs of providers and their patients in Maryland and throughout the region.”  More than 40% of Maryland’s overdose deaths are related to prescription opioids.  Through the new partnership, providers will be able to view all of a patient’s controlled substance prescription data in one place to help identify suspect patterns and facilitate treatment.

The prescription drug database adds to CRISP’s care coordination catalogue, which already includes admission, transfer, and discharge (ADT) notifications as well as population health management tools intended to track and help the uninsured.  CRISP combines geographic information with data on hospital service utilization to develop a picture of community needs and areas of public health concern.

“CRISP understands the financial and clinical value of information that is as simple as hospital utilization data and that it can have a major impact on the coordination of patient care,” said CRISP Program Director Scott Afzal in March. “Based on our relationship with the hospitals in the state and the type of information and infrastructure we have in place, we realized that we could provide a real-time service that would allow primary care providers and care coordinators to better track their patients, resulting in healthier people and a reduced rate of costly hospital readmissions.”




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