How prescribers wield the power to combat the opioid addiction crisis through e prescribing controlled substances

e-prescribingThe nation’s opioid crisis has been of utmost interest in the news and across the healthcare industry of late, as the number of opioid-related deaths have soared to an all-time high and continue to grow. Senate has recently approved and passed a bill strengthening prevention, treatment and recovery efforts – through the empowerment of prescribers and law enforcement officials – but for prescribers, electronically prescribing controlled substances (EPCS) is arguably the most effective, efficient and simplest way to combat the opioid epidemic.

As we blogged about before, EPCS is legal in all 50 states, mandatory in New York (many other states are quickly following this mandate), and offers a tech-enabled, seamless solution for safer, more efficient prescribing with enhanced security. Prescribers have the ability to send all drugs electronically with a single application that creates, manages, and stores every Rx, with detailed verification and safety checks at every step.

The fact that EPCS makes drug usage easy to track and audit within individual practices and large groups is what makes this growing function an important management tool in helping to deal with the current crisis.

However, EPCS not only helps to reduce fraud and abuse of controlled substances, but it also offers built-in clinical decision support when it comes to drug-drug interactions, drug dosage reminders and other functions that reduce errors and enhance patient safety.

When an EPCS app is both DEA compliant and integrated into your EHR, as we’ve made the MediTouch e prescription and EPCS functions, the interface is easy to implement and use. It’s a no-brainer.

The Opioid Crisis Numbers:

  • Of 21.5 million Americans 12 or older that had a substance abuse disorder in 2014, 1.9 million had a substance disorder involving prescription pain relievers.
  • The number of deaths from drug overdoses exceeded the number of deaths from car crashes or guns.
  • Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. 2014 saw 47,055 lethal drug overdoses.
  • 18,893 overdose deaths are related to prescription pain relievers
  • The overdose death rate in 2008 was nearly four times the 1999 rate; sales of prescription pain relievers in 2010 were four times those in 1999; the substance use disorder treatment admission rate in 2009 was six times the 1999 rate.
  • Four in five new heroin users started out misusing prescription painkillers.