Chesapeake-based healthcare system using new tool to help Virginia’s opioid fight

Posted at 6:09 PM, Jun 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-07 23:33:47-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - What used to take several only takes an instant.

In late April, Bayview Physicians Group began using new tool called NarxCare to help doctors when prescribing medication to patients.

NarxCare, developed by Kentucky-based company Appriss Health, connects directly to Virginia's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) giving doctors an immediate look at a patient's prescription history and health history and assesses the risk of addiction.

It's integrated right into Bayview's electronic health record (EHR) system.

"The tool will look into how much of those medications are prescribed, who's prescribing them, how many prescriptions the patient's receiving and how frequently they're receiving those...and give a certain risk score [on the] potential for complications," said Dr. Jeff Forman, M.D., Bayview Physicians Group's Chief Medical Officer for Population Health.

It's a system the Commonwealth of Virginia believes could be key in the state's fight against a growing epidemic of opioid abuse and addiction, which often starts with prescription painkillers.

In January, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Virginia had received a $3.1 million grant to help pay for NarxCare technology. Bayview quickly became one of the first to jump on board.

"We're always looking for ways to streamline our patient care," said Jeff Elmore, Bayview's Director of Information Systems. "(NarxCare) takes data that physicians use to have to sort through manually and calculate manually, which took anywhere from 5-7 minutes per report. It takes it down to a single click."

Ralph Orr, Director of Virginia's PDMP said 30 additional health systems are in the process of integrating NarxCare.

The goal is to have 18,000 prescribers and 400 doctors connected by January 2018.