As state and local legislation continue their fight against the opioid epidemic in Kentucky, Owensboro Health has joined in the local effort. Owensboro Health began a partnership on Nov. 1 with Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting System (KASPER) to integrate their systems and share data, including patients’ medical records, controlled substance use and prescription information.
According to a Nov. 14 press release issued by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the Owensboro Health Marketing and Public Relations Department, this collaboration between KASPER and Owensboro Health will expedite the process of obtaining a patient’s history of substance use and prescription information.
By providing physicians with a thorough, automatic screening — including real-time updates — as to the number of controlled substances a patient is prescribed, and from how many doctors, and from which pharmacies they’re obtaining said prescriptions, physicians can avoid over-prescribing patients as KASPER provides a fast, reliable summary as to which substances a patient is being prescribed.
“Kentucky’s prescription drug monitoring program is collaborating with Owensboro Health to enhance the state’s capacity to share information with health care providers, allowing the delivery of timelier and more up-to-date reports on prescriptions dispensed to patients in the Commonwealth,” the release states.
What’s even more, Kentucky is one out of only three states– including Illinois and Utah–to partner with KASPER in this pilot project of integration in providing prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs).
Before the integration of KASPER and Owensboro Health’s electronic health record system, Epic, it took doctors at least 5-10 minutes to manually gather the necessary information for each patient’s prescription history.
Dr. David Danhauer, Chief Medical Information Officer at Owensboro Health, said the pilot program has already proven successful in the last 30 days, saving providers over 10 hours of time in the last month.
“It’s saved them [providers] at least 30 minutes per day over a three-week period,” Danhauer said. “It’s only been used by three providers in one clinic so far. I’m hopeful that our entire Owensboro Health system can integrate it soon.”
Danhauer said the opioid crisis in Kentucky is so severe, it’s estimated that the amount of opioids prescribed across the state of Kentucky is equivalent to around 90 pills per person.
“In our region, we’re one of the highest in Kentucky for prescription rates. Dr. ‘X’ prescribes something yesterday that Dr. ‘Y’ had no idea had been ordered,” Danhauer said of the issue in multiple prescriptions being written for an individual, and the issue with the current prescription tracking programs being used. “Now, that document can be seen by others. This will automatically pull all that information out to them, instead of them having to pull it manually.”
According to the press release, the integration allows an authorized user to submit a request for KASPER data directly from Owensboro Health’s Epic system and deliver the KASPER report directly into the patient’s medical records.
The integration also hopes to make the process easier on providers by providing current medical updates as well. Physicians can electronically mark a patient’s hospital visit, doctor’s appointment, or updated prescription–anything that would contribute to their medical records–as documented. That way, other physicians who might see the patient are given instantaneous knowledge as to when their patient’s last medical appointment took place and what it entailed.
“The accuracy of the data is also significant because we now have real-time updates rather than old printed reports,” Danhauer said.