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Opioid Management Perception 2018
EMR Vendors Being Pushed to Center Stage

author - Jackson Tate
Jackson Tate
author - Alex McIntosh
Alex McIntosh
October 16, 2018 | Read Time: 4  minutes

More than 100 opioid-related overdose deaths occur in the United States every day, and the healthcare community knows that making changes at the point of care can help stem the tide of addiction. To discover what steps healthcare organizations are taking, KLAS asked over 100 leaders from organizations of all sizes to describe their plans for opioid management and to share what technology vendors they are looking to for help. Unlike traditional KLAS performance reports, this report is focused on discovering what strategies and technologies are top of mind as organizations implement, monitor, and improve their opioid stewardship strategies.

who did klas speak with

The State of Opioid Stewardship:

A Few Organizations Leading Out; Most Are Still in the Dark

Two-thirds of interviewed organizations label themselves “novices” or “beginners” when it comes to opioid stewardship. Only seven consider themselves “advanced,” meaning they have multiple strategies and technologies in place to directly combat opioid misuse. Advanced organizations report that a multifaceted approach—consisting of internal rules, technology partners, alternative treatment options, EPCS, and proper legislation—is necessary for effective opioid stewardship. Organizations that take such an approach have realized gains in their fight against opioid misuse. In technology decisions, less advanced organizations often consider non-integrated, best-of-breed solutions, while more advanced organizations are much more likely to be counting on their core EMR vendor to deliver the new technology and enhancements needed to prevent and treat opioid misuse. These organizations have high expectations that their EMR vendors will deliver within the next year.

size of interviewed organizations
state of organizations opioid stewardship strategies
confidence in emr vendors

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Which Vendors Are Best Positioned to Help Solve the Opioid Crisis?

Regardless of size or stage of advancement, organizations overwhelmingly expect their EMR vendors to step up and partner with them to help solve the opioid crisis. The EMR is the ideal tool for tackling many problems inherent to opioid misuse since its central position within an organization’s technology structure allows physicians to complete stewardship tasks without going outside their standard workflows.

Organizations with less developed stewardship programs are more likely than those with advanced programs to seek out best-of-breed vendors, such as Appriss Health, Surescripts, DrFirst, and others. Appriss Health’s technology undergirds most states’ PDMPs (prescription drug monitoring programs), and they are the third-party vendor most often identified as being used for identifying addiction at the point of care and monitoring for problematic prescribing habits.

For help monitoring for possible drug diversion, organizations are more likely to feel that their current pharmacy-specific vendors—such as Omnicell, BD, and Medacist—are better positioned than EMR vendors.

Care management for those already addicted is an area ripe for disruption by vendors who can provide good technology for directing care management efforts. Most respondents struggled to identify a vendor that they feel is currently well positioned to do this, with most falling back on their EMR vendor as the only vendor they could name.

identifying and preventing addiction at the point of care
identifying and monitoring problematic prescribing habits
identifying and monitoring possible drug diversion
analyzing and directing care management efforts
vendors most frequently used

While a great many vendors are being considered for use in organizations’ opioid stewardship plans, relatively few opioid-specific solutions are currently adopted and live. Epic and Cerner are among the most-often-mentioned vendors who are currently in use, and their customers’ expectations for integrated solutions that help identify, monitor, and prevent opioid misuse throughout a health system have been met with varied levels of fulfilment. Multiple organizations have been successful using Appriss Health’s Narx Scores to identify potentially at-risk patients. Several Surescripts customers feel the vendor is well positioned to do more but hasn’t stepped up to the challenge. BD and Omnicell are mentioned often for their drug-diversion monitoring capabilities and the insights customers have gained using their solutions.

emr vendors play a pivotal role
does the emr enable physicians

which emr vendors do organizations look to for help
expected role of the emr

Organizations expect their EMRs to integrate directly with state PDMPs and to provide opioid-specific clinical decision support and tool sets that are incorporated directly into physicians’ EMR workflows. KLAS validated that several organizations (in various states) have achieved direct integration with PDMPs. Clinical leaders say this integration has greatly enhanced their ability to identify at-risk patients.

author - Natalie Jamison
Natalie Jamison
author - Robert Ellis
Project Manager
Robert Ellis
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This material is copyrighted. Any organization gaining unauthorized access to this report will be liable to compensate KLAS for the full retail price. Please see the KLAS DATA USE POLICY for information regarding use of this report. © 2024 KLAS Research, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: Performance scores may change significantly when including newly interviewed provider organizations, especially when added to a smaller sample size like in emerging markets with a small number of live clients. The findings presented are not meant to be conclusive data for an entire client base.