| Electronic medical records/health records

Electronic Health Records for Opioid Use Tracking

Pre-Identifying At-Risk Patients

An article in Substance Use and Addiction asks, “Are medication monitoring programs within a hospital associated with more accurate identification of patients with opioid use disorder through the use of proxy Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria for opioid use disorder extracted from electronic health records?” The retrospective study analyzed data from patients prescribed opioids: >16,000 patients were enrolled in a medication monitoring system, and another >16,000 patients were not. Results showed that “OUD diagnoses as defined by diagnostic codes were present at a much lower rate than expected (291 [2%]), indicating the necessity for alternative diagnostic strategies. The DSM-5 criteria for OUD can be assessed using manual medical record review; a manual review of 200 patients in the GMMP and 200 control patients identified a larger percentage of patients with probable moderate to severe OUD (GMMP, 145 of 200 [73%]; and control, 27 of 200 [14%]) compared with the prevalence of OUD assessed using diagnostic codes.”

The study—by researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt College of Medicine in collaboration with the Geisinger health system, the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University—demonstrated that EHR information can potentially identify opioid use disorder in patients. By obtaining a severity score utilizing these records, “Precision medicine within integrated health systems such as Geisinger could be a major associated factor in developing more efficient pain treatments with less risk for addiction, and studies of this potential could be helped by establishing more effective proxy measures for OUD using EHR data.”


Access the journal article.

Other Categories: