IllumiCare’s Controlled Substance App Significantly Reduces Clicks and Time Spent in EMR Accessing Critical Opioid Prescription Data

July 16, 2019

IllumiCare’s Controlled Substance App Significantly Reduces Clicks and Time Spent in EMR Accessing Critical Opioid Prescription Data

Providers around the country saving up to three minutes of time from streamlined workflow for checking the controlled substances registry, an important step in combating the opioid crisis 

BIRMINGHAM, AL - July 16, 2019 - Many states require physicians check the state prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP) where a patient’s history of outpatient controlled substance exposure is tracked. IllumiCare recently launched the Controlled Substance App for its Smart Ribbon® platform to improve the previously manual process of checking the database, and today announces insights into how it is reducing clicks to save time and money for users. Clinicians using the app have reported saving one to three minutes of time per search. Over just three months, the app saved: 183,396 clicks, 250 to 750 hours, and $19,000 to $57,000 (calculated based on average salary rate of a primary care provider).

The Controlled Substance App is a part of IllumiCare’s popular Smart Ribbon platform, a non-intrusive ribbon of information that appears within or momentarily hovers over a hospital’s EMR to display real-time cost and risk data. This empowers clinicians with important information they previously lacked access to completely or easily, allowing them to be better stewards of resources and make better care decisions. 

Without the Smart Ribbon, the manual process for logging into a PDMP site requires navigating 12 clicks and five type fields, making the time from homepage to patient report more than one minute on average. There are other time-consuming requirements such as entering patient name and date of birth, provider name, and password changes every 90 days. All of this effort only results in an 85 percent patient match rate. 

With the Smart Ribbon, clinicians make one click into the Controlled Substance App, and the report appears in less than two seconds with information specific to the patient and provider at a 95.3 percent match rate.

This improved workflow is important for two reasons. First, it is no secret clinicians are experiencing burnout exacerbated by the 4,000 clicks a day the average user has in the EMR. Second, state PDMP’s are a vital resource to understanding a person’s history with opioids, as overprescribing plays a monumental role in opioid addiction. Studies examining queries into the system over a three month period show 80 percent of patient’s had exposure within the last 24 hours. 

Feedback from Hospital Users

Houston Methodist, a leading Texas hospital system, is the first to deploy IllumiCare’s Controlled Substance App, powered by a partnership with Appriss Health for accessing Texas’ PDMP, to help clinicians across its seven-hospital system better combat the opioid epidemic. 

“The Smart Ribbon is bringing information that used to be buried within the EMR or on an external site that providers had to manually check, directly into the workflow. Clinicians can now easily see that Patient X was prescribed 14 pain pills two days ago at another hospital, so now I will only prescribe an additional 6 pills instead of prescribing a full order again. This seamless integration of critical information into our care decisions has the potential to drastically reduce opioid overprescribing,” said Nicholas Desai, DPM, MBA, Chief Medical Information Officer, Houston Methodist. 

The Queen’s Medical Center (Queen’s), the largest private non-profit hospital in Honolulu, is using the app along with other apps offered on the Smart Ribbon. Roy K. Esaki, M.D., MS  and Interim CMIO, notes it has been one of their most popular IT projects. 

“The Ribbon has greatly improved my ability to quickly and properly monitor all of my patients that I prescribe opioids to. I am able to decrease my time requirements by over 50 percent due to this feature, allowing me to further focus on patient care,” said Jeffrey Loh, M.D., Medical Director, Pain Clinic at Queen’s.

North Mississippi Health Services, a community hospital serving 24 counties in north Mississippi and northwest Alabama from Tupelo, Miss.

“IllumiCare allows our physicians and advanced practice clinicians to access the prescription monitoring program with just one click. This technology is not only a huge time saver for providers, but it also improves compliance with the new opioid regulations released in October 2018. Lastly, it positively impacts our work in North Mississippi on the opioid epidemic, allowing providers to be confident in the controlled RX patients are filling,” said Ben Kilman, M.D., Chief Medical Informatics Officer at North Mississippi Health Services.