The Opioid Crisis
A new article by Dr. Steve Bennett discusses the need for a data-driven approach in the fight against opioid abuse. Bennett’s piece features a young man named Andy who tragically succumbed to opiod addiction while still young. The opioid crisis is real and affecting the US as this post goes to the web. It is killing over 60,000 Americans a year and has actually caused average life expectancy for Americans to decrease over the last few years. Dr. Bennett focuses on the ways in which data-driven approaches can provide solutions for the problem that this country faces. As he writes, “The data management and integration process can also help us understand where our knowledge gaps are, revealing flaws in data quality and availability…Using data analytics to find better and deeper insights into the root problems of this epidemic can help decision-makers make real change.”
Seniors: Affected As Well
While Dr. Bennett’s article features a figure who dies tragically in his teens, the opioid crisis is occurring among seniors as well. According to a US Senate report, a full one third of people with a Medicare prescription drug plan were prescribed opioids. More than 500,000 Medicare Part D recipients received high amounts of opioids in 2016 and almost a fifth of that group is at serious risk of opioid abuse or misuse.
As Dr. Bennett notes, monitoring of symptoms and more detailed information captured on the patient’s condition and problems can aid doctors as they decide whether and how much to prescribe to patients. Improved tracking of pain and more detailed assessments can lead to stronger analyses of when and where opioid prescription can be avoided. The better we track, the better we can help clinicians make the right decision and better monitor if the opiods are the best solution with the best outcome.
Every LTPAC organization needs to make sure that its software solutions are up to the task. Please contact us at LINTECH for more details on data-driven management systems and the horizons they can open for your LTPAC operation.