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Epic Outcomes

Safer Opioid Prescribing Using Epic

Overlake Medical Center & Clinics proactively educates patients about the safe use of opioids

Overlake Medical Center & Clinics in Washington State is taking a comprehensive approach to tackling the opioid crisis. Clinicians at Overlake use preventive care reminders and other tools in Epic to effectively manage patients’ pain and provide resources for safe use of opioid prescriptions.

Overlake uses preventive care reminders in Epic to holistically manage patients’ health and risk of opioid use disorder. For example, clinicians track whether a patient has had a urine specimen screening or has been co-prescribed the overdose antidote naloxone with an opioid prescription. After educating patients on safe use of pain medications, clinicians can provide more information in patients’ after visit summaries.

Other specific steps Overlake has taken include integrating with the Washington state prescription monitoring program and suggesting opioid alternatives for pain relief in nursing workflows.

“We wanted to impact safe prescribing at the point of care, as well as provide individual education to patients,” said Dr. Michael Hatzakis Jr., chair of Overlake’s Operations and Information Technology Committee. “We felt [this] was our most effective first step, rather than tracking prescribing volume or number of prescriptions.”

Read more about Overlake’s approach in Healthcare IT News.