IN THE NEWS | Maximizing Health IT in the Fight Against the Opioid Crisis

Foothold Technology Senior Advisor, David Bucciferro, is Co-chair of the Opioid Crisis Task Force Standards and Technology subcommittee on the EHRA.

On June 6, EHRA was pleased to host a Capitol Hill briefing for Congressional staff and other stakeholders to share data and insights from EHRA’s Opioid Crisis Task Force. Health information and technology, such as electronic health records (EHRs), electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS), Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP), information exchange solutions, and patient portals are already playing a role in addressing the opioid crisis, but EHRA members know that more can be done to support the clients that they partner with day in and day out.

The Opioid Crisis Task Force has been diligently working to identify how EHRs and other health IT can play a larger role in assisting providers and public health professionals addressing the opioid epidemic, and which policy changes and adoption patterns are needed to maximize the capacities of health IT in this fight.

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At the briefing, Task Force leaders Leigh Burchell, David Bucciferro, and Alan Staples spoke to the technology and standards challenges, the impact on clinicians, and policy recommendations for combating the crisis. Burchell pointed out that EHR developers are aligned in many ways with provider organizations on recommendations related to the opioid crisis. She shared EHRA’s policy recommendations for opioid bills currently being considered by Congress, noting that it’s clear a lot of work and compassion went into drafting these bills. Some very good concepts exist, she said, and EHRA is pleased to see support for solutions including improved PDMP connectivity and information exchange, EPCS expansion, and making actionable information available to providers.

EHRA believes that health IT in general, and EHRs in particular, can play an important role in enabling access to all relevant data, thus improving clinical decision making by the clinician, as well as the patient.