by Monica Greene, TN HIMSS Ambassador

Never has Health Information Technology played a larger role in the current and future initiatives of the healthcare industry, and what a week it has been celebrating its impact as part of National Health IT Week (NHIT Week)! If you missed the second version of TN HIMSS Innovators and Incumbents event this week, take a peek at chapter President, Eric Thrailkill’s recap here. Healthcare technology is breeding a refreshing awakening throughout the industry, from an impressive representation in the 2018 class of  Forbes 30 Under 30  to the list of innovators highlighted by our own George Farmer on the  October 10 blog post .

Recent years and the current environment demonstrate how healthcare technology as a star player in multiple industry conversations and initiatives, including the political colloquy. This year’s countrywide NHIT Week included a focused approach of advocacy with state legislature for educated awareness actionable partnership, as Samantha Burch, senior director of Congressional Affairs for HIMSS, alluded in Healthcare IT News . Just last month, TN HIMSS Advocacy members TN HIMSS Advocacy Committee joined Governor Haslam in commissioning the latest addition to the Tennessee Together initiative in the fight against opioid epidemic. While this detrimental issue continues to destroy lives (almost 1,300 in Tennessee 2017 alone), there are many encouraging insights and actions taking place throughout the country similar to Tennessee’s  own efforts.

Let’s take a look at some positive approaches to America’s opioid problem driven by healthcare IT:

  • ePrescribing powerhouse Surecripts has been leading the charge aggregating data from its vast network of partnerships with EHR vendors, pharmacies, clinicians, health plans, and health systems to identify and proactively combat potential opioid addictive behaviors
  • Texas Hospital Association and IllumiCare co-developed SmartRibbon , a cross-platform solution aimed at creating more visibility into patients’ opioid exposure via integrated data systems
  • Health providers like Affiliated Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons of Maryland are utilizing intelligent mobile applications for medication management like DrFirst to more efficiently manage controlled substance prescription workflows between ePrescribing systems and state  Prescription Drug Monitoring Program databases. Similar products exist from athenahealth, Ayva, drchrono, DxScript eRx, eClinicalWorks, Imprivata, Kareo and MDToolbox

Stay tuned for more examples for how TN HIMSS is catalyzing actionable change in this initiative within Tennessee’s healthcare system and its imminent impact on the national crusade against opioid abuse.