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Crystal Clinic Orthopaedic Center synchronizes electronic health records with OARRS

Solution aims to reduce prescription drug abuse by providing physicians with access to OARRS

Published: April 6, 2017 1:41 AM
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Akron, OH – Crystal Clinic Orthopaedic Center is doing its part to fight the opioid epidemic in Northeast Ohio. Recently, its IT department developed a quicker way to integrate the organization’s electronic health records (EHR) with the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS), the state’s prescription monitoring program (PMP). This integration of OARRS with Crystal Clinic’s EHRs allows its physicians instant access to patient controlled substance prescription information.

When the department learned that their EHR provider would not have the functionality for this until later in 2017, its staff decided to develop that functionality themselves. Under the direction of Chief Information Officer Gregg Zolton and Gary Pennington, MD, they created a button in the software that gives doctors access to patients’ prescription details without having to manually enter their personal information. Originally, the process took approximately seven minutes. Now, it takes less than a second.

“The opioid epidemic could not wait for our vendor to develop the integration software for our EHR system,” Zolton said. “With the professional talent of our IT staff, we were able to integrate the OARRS program in six weeks without the assistance of our vendor.”

In addition to putting this prescription information at the doctors’ fingertips, the team also integrated several other new features. One of those is the ability to pull patient prescription information from neighboring states bordering Ohio. Another built-in tool calculates morphine milligram equivalents (MME) so that Crystal Clinic’s physicians can identify patients who may benefit from closer monitoring, reduction of opioids, or other measures to reduce overdose risk. Yet another capability allows doctors to determine the suitability of a patient for long-term opioid therapy based on a Diagnosis Intractability Risk Efficacy (DIRE) score, which takes several factors into consideration such as diagnosis, psychological profile, history of alcohol or drug abuse, and social supports.


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