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Clinic first to use pharmacy data monitoring to curb opioid abuse

March 3, 2016​​

​​​Marshfield Clinic is partnering with Appriss, Inc., to include opiate prescription histories into its Electronic Health Records (EHR), built and developed by MCIS, Inc., to improve patient safety and combat prescription drug abuse and diversion.

MCIS is the first ambulatory vendor in Wisconsin to integrate the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) in its EHR. MCIS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Marshfield Clinic Health System, has been continuously developing its EHR for over 30 years.

Appriss, Inc., a leading technology provider for risk assessment and analytics in public safety and health care, provides technology that includes patient opiate prescription histories in real-time at the point-of-care. This increased accessibility is expected to increase prescription monitoring data usage.

This secure technology provides options for health IT systems to integrate Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) data into physician and pharmacist workflows. Physicians and pharmacists now log into separate websites to retrieve a patient's opiate prescriptions and then cross-reference this data with a patient's health information in other systems. At Marshfield Clinic, Appriss integration provides instant access to patient data within the EHR.

Opioid overdose is a health concern in Wisconsin as heroin and prescription painkiller use puts people at risk of opioid overdose. In 2013, more Wisconsin residents died from drug overdoses than motor vehicle accidents, suicide or firearms, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

"Keeping a close eye on patients' opiate prescription history is important in making sure they're prescribed the correct dosage to not only improve their health but to prevent an adverse event," said Dr. Eric Penniman, Marshfield Clinic medical director for Primary Care.

Benefits of EHR integration and interoperability have long been recognized by Brandeis University's PDMP Center of Excellence (COE). A COE 2012 report recognized that "integrating PMP data retrieval with health information exchanges (HIE), EHR and pharmacy dispensing systems should help reduce the time and effort needed for prescribers and their staff and for pharmacists to access a patient's prescription history."

The report further details that integration will maximize the number of users – prescribers and dispensers – receiving the information and utility for each user. 

"By providing prescription monitoring data directly at the point-of-care, Marshfield Clinic has taken a major step towards improving patient safety in Wisconsin," said Ken Cassell, vice president of business development, Appriss. "Real-time monitoring also saves valuable minutes for providers, helping to ensure the best standard of care for all patients."

"Our Marshfield Clinic physicians have overwhelmingly embraced Appriss' mission of improving prescribing confidence," Penniman said. "Having access to prescription monitoring data directly from within the medication prescribing program has been significant for our physicians and they are universally grateful for this EHR tool."​

​​The Marshfield Clinic system provides patient care, research and education in more than 50 locations in northern, central and western Wisconsin, making it one of the largest comprehensive medical systems in the United States.

 Media Relations

John Gardner
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Jim Korth
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Joe Rizzo
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