Thursday, July 17, 2014
MetroHealth Gets $74K Grant to Stem Prescription Drug Abuse
MetroHealth has received a $74,000 Ohio State Board of Pharmacy
grant to implement the NARxCHECK
program, technology to help decrease prescription drug abuse.
All health care providers, by law, are required to review patient information in the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS
) before initially prescribing benzodiazepines (tranquilizers) or any substances containing opioids.
Due to technological limits, physicians frequently have to exit a patient’s electronic health record in order to check their OARRS record.
MetroHealth is one of the first hospitals in Ohio to integrate OARRS information into its electronic health records, saving physicians time and reducing the amount of prescription drug abuse.
“Much of our region’s heroin problem began as a prescription drug problem. As physicians, it is critical that we have this tool to help us quickly identify patients who may be misusing their prescriptions or obtaining prescriptions from multiple providers,” said Dr. Joan Papp, founder of Project DAWN
, which works to prevent heroin overdose deaths in Cuyahoga County. “Opioid pain medications can be a safe and effective treatment for pain. This technology will allow us to make better informed decisions about which patients we can safely prescribe to.”
“Every doctor can use new tools to turn the tide on prescription drug abuse,” said Dr. Akram Boutros
, president and CEO of The MetroHealth System. “This step will save time and lives, by ensuring that we identify individuals at risk of abusing prescription drugs and helping them access new means of coping with addiction."
Ohio saw 822 million doses of prescription opioids dispensed last year – or about 70 doses per person. Overdose deaths rose 440 percent from 1999 to 2012.
“Increasing the use of OARRS is critical to addressing Ohio’s prescription drug abuse epidemic,” said Ohio State Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Kyle Parker. “We are proud that we could provide the NARxCHECK program to MetroHealth.”