Virginia doctors sign on to prescription monitoring program to fight drug abuse

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — At last check, 15,000 people died from prescription opioid overdose in 2015. Those are the most up to date numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At the Bayview Physicians Group clinic in Chesapeake, Dr. Jeff Forman looks over electronic health records with new software: NarxCare.

“We are the first and only to have this embedded into our EHR,” he said.

This year in Virginia, Governor Terry McAuliffe made the fight against opioid abuse a priority. That included putting aside money for a plan to stop addiction before it begins. The Commonwealth offered NarxCare to all healthcare groups. It’s a program purchased by the state that links all doctors to their patient’s prescription history.

“Literally one click away, gain access that information you can look into the usage of both narcotics, stimulants and sedative type medications,” Dr. Forman said.

But, it does more than that; it also looks at the history to see if the patient is at risk for overdose or addiction.

“The risk goes into an algorithm within the software tool,” Dr. Forman

If the risk comes out high, Dr. Forman said that starts the conversation between doctor and patient.

“It begs the provider to at least have a conversation with the patient in regard to how they want to be treated,” Dr. Forman said.

Dr. Forman said this is a tool that connects a patient’s history to a doctor at the click of button. He said that information is a powerful weapon.

“It we can prevent one overdose, if we can prevent one complication of these medications, the system is worth it,” he said.

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