The Continuum of Care



Recently, physicians have adopted prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP) to help safeguard against overprescription of drugs, specifically opioids. These state-level interventions have been able to give providers a look into patients' histories and provide better care. Despite the success of PDMPs, there are still holes in the programs. The true impact of PDMPs on the opioid crisis is still uncertain, as many PDMPs are different and use technology differently.

To address the holes in the PDMPs, hospitals in Texas have piloted a technology that “enhances physicians; visibility into their patients’ opioid exposure.” The Texas hospitals are using a technology called Smart Ribbon that gives physicians more clinical and financial information about the tests they order. Furthermore, Smart Ribbon is intended to collect information for pharmaceutical interactions outside the walls of the hospital, such as opioids for chronic pain. This new technology will address the “blind spot” between the hospital and the pharmacy by showing the entire continuum of care on record, not just the information recorded in the hospital EHR system.

This new effort will hopeful align the Texas Hospital Association with the priority or opioid education and risk management. This is yet another example of how real-time data can help inform physicians and pharmacists on the state of the patients. This data contributes to treating a patient across the continuum, not just in the hospital.

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