New Application Integrated into Electronic Health Record Helps AHN Caregivers More Effectively Screen for a Patient’s History of Prescribed Controlled Substances

We’re able to provide better care, identify problems much quicker, and give patients and their family peace of mind when we prescribe controlled substances.

As the battle against the opioid epidemic in western Pennsylvania rages on, Allegheny Health Network (AHN) has become the first health care provider in the state to equip its clinicians with a new software solution to help address the problem.

AHN has partnered with Appris Health, an industry leader in prescription data monitoring solutions, to implement a new capability, PMP Gateway, which enables AHN caregivers to seamlessly check a patient’s history of prescribed controlled substances, all without navigating away from that patient’s electronic chart in Epic.

“Access to this critical information is now only one click away, and it saves us an incredible amount of time,” said David Chuirazzi, MD, an emergency medicine physician at AHN. “It’s a particularly timely advance for patient care given the continuing impact of the opioid epidemic in our region and across the country.”

The new tool queries against the state’s recently developed Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) database, which houses controlled substance and opioid prescription history data for patients. The tool also utilizes similar data from Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia to help AHN prescribers cast a wider net.

As doctors continue to familiarize themselves with the subtleties of documenting patient care through an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) such as Epic, Appriss Health serves as another example of its many advantages.

“We’re able to provide better care, identify problems much quicker, and give patients and their family peace of mind when we prescribe controlled substances,” says Jennifer Preiss, MD, AHN Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. “We can access information unencumbered, and can focus more on patient care without dealing with administrative computer work.”

Previously, providers were required to navigate out to the PDMP site, input credentials and locate their patients manually. This new mechanism pulls information out of the PDMP database directly into the patient’s chart without having to navigate elsewhere. It’s an incredibly easy and…

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