A Hands-On Approach to the Opioid Crisis

MetroHealth reduces opioid prescriptions by 33% using Epic


For MetroHealth in Ohio, a common-sense, practical approach was key to reducing opioid prescriptions by a third.

When a patient shows signs of possible opioid dependence, such as frequently changing providers or visiting the ED, decision support in Epic suggests a lower-dose opioid prescription and non-medication pain treatments. Providers receive training on alternative pain treatments and how to discuss options with patients. If outpatient providers prescribe an opioid, they are also prompted to prescribe the opioid antidote naloxone for patients to take home. Naloxone has saved more than 1,500 lives since 2013 through MetroHealth’s distribution program.

“Our team has been developing creative ways to care for those with substance use disorder for years. Using Epic to reduce use was the next logical step,” says Dr. Akram Boutros, President and CEO of MetroHealth. “It was thoughtful, collaborative and, most important of all, looked out for the well-being of our patients.”

Read more at Modern Healthcare.