Palmetto Health Takes Steps to Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse


LOUISVILLE, Ky., Nov. 9, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls the misuse and abuse of prescription medications a nationwide epidemic. According to the CDC, 44 people in the United States die from overdose of prescription painkillers every day. To help curb prescription drug abuse, Palmetto Health, Columbia, South Carolina, along with Appriss Inc., a leading technology provider for data, risk assessment and analytics solutions, and Cerner, a global leader in health care technology, have collaborated to assist clinicians in making better prescribing decisions for controlled substances.

Today Appriss announced that Palmetto Health utilizes NARxCHECK™, which integrates into Cerner's electronic health record system (EHR), to access and analyze Prescription Monitoring Program information to help improve patient safety. Cerner was the first EHR system to integrate NARxCHECK nationwide, further building on its effort to advance interoperability in the health care IT industry by integrating information from outside sources into the EHR.

According to the latest South Carolina Governor's Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Council report, 10 of the highest prescribing states for painkillers are in the South and in South Carolina alone, 354 adults and one minor died from prescription poisoning in one year.

The NARxCHECK algorithm assesses a patient's controlled substance history from state prescription monitoring programs, computes a score and highlights potential issues with overuse or abuse of narcotics, sedatives and stimulants.

The program provides three key components for prescribers and dispensers:

  • Patient score
  • Interactive graph depicting the usage pattern of drugs
  • Detailed analytics about controlled substance prescriptions filled by the patient

The integration of NARxCHECk into the Cerner EHR is expected to be especially valuable to Emergency Department (ED) physicians who typically encounter "frequent flyers," or patients who visit multiple EDs in search of painkiller prescriptions.

"Our physicians are very happy with the ability to identify potential prescription drug abuse in seconds, directly within the EHR," said Dr. Tripp Jennings, System VP, Medical Informatics of Palmetto. "Our Emergency Department physicians are seeing time savings from the NARxCHECK program, too. We're working together with Cerner to add even more functionality for the solution and we realize more use cases for the offering. Overall, this is a win for everyone involved."

NARxCHECK has overcome the issue of having limited time to reference the South Carolina prescription drug monitoring program.  Appriss, Cerner, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control have had a positive impact on the prescription drug abuse problem by providing this solution to providers.

Embedding NARxCHECK within the Cerner EHR provides authorized users, near real-time access to prescription monitoring data and provides transparency to states to monitor compliance.

"Appriss is thrilled to deploy NARxCHECK to Palmetto," said Krishnan Sastry, Executive Vice President at Appriss, Inc.  "This implementation not only leads the collaboration between Cerner and Appriss, but puts powerful analytics in the hands of the providers to aid in their prescribing decisions and help curb prescription drug abuse."

About Appriss

Appriss provides data-driven solutions to fulfill our mission of keeping communities safe and informed.  Partnering with public safety, government, healthcare, and the commercial market, Appriss delivers solutions that prevent fraud, mitigate risk, fight crime, ensure compliance, increase public safety and save lives.  Appriss' solutions are always backed by excellent customer support with technical agents in the U.S. that are available to help 24x7x365.

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