Opioid Crisis

Opioid Crisis

It seems that you can’t listen to the radio, turn on the TV, open a newspaper or browse a website without seeing or hearing some mention of the Opioid Crisis.

With good reason.

  • Did you know that approximately 115 American lives are lost due to overdose of opiates every day?
  • Have you seen an increase in the number of referrals you are receiving related to this national crisis?
  • Is your agency one of those experiencing a higher than normal incidence to opioid addiction?

In October of 2017, opiate addiction was declared a public health emergency as discussed in this article from the U.S. Health and Human Services.

How is your agency prepared to deal with the Opioid Crisis?

An article from National Institutes of Health: National Institutes on Drug Addiction – Advancing Addition Science details how this Opioid Crisis gained ground in the 1990s.

In short, it happened when pharmaceutical companies and medical practitioners did not realize how addictive opiates were, and were prescribing them for many conditions.

The current ‘economic burden’ of prescription opioid abuse is reckoned to be in the region of $78.5 billion a year.

This over-prescribing and misuse epidemic has resulted in increased numbers of:

  • Overdoses
  • Neonatal abstinence syndrome
  • Cases of infectious diseases such as HIV and Hep C

What does the Opioid Crisis mean for Public Health Agencies?

With increased referrals it becomes more important to have a fast and efficient means to document client care related to opiate addiction.

We have even see some states increasing the number of Public Health Nurses in order to respond to this crisis.

How can Nightingale Notes help with the Opioid Crisis?

Many public health agencies are not in a position to quickly add more staff to deal with the crises. Funding is an issue. Nightingale Notes can help with that. If you are still using paper charting or narrative documentation in an EMR it is time to graduate to a better system of documentation that allows:

  • Standardization
  • Efficiency
  • The ability to report outcomes

Using a Standardized Terminology such as the Omaha System found in Champ Software’s Nightingale Notes EHR, you can create a pathway for clients struggling with opiate addition.

With:

  • Standardized terms
  • Set interventions
  • The ability to personalize your documentation

You can be assured your documentation is thorough, accurate and up to date.

Once documented, this client outcome, or your overall client population’s outcomes, can be tracked and reported in meaningful ways.

This makes it easier to:

  • Report back to your funding sources what your outcomes are saying
  • Secure funding for additional staff

Conclusion

If you’re worried about the opioid crisis, then you have good reason, and you’re not alone.

Call Champ Software at (507) 388-4141 now for information on how you can secure your guide to documenting your clients facing this crisis.

 

About the Author:

Norah has worked as a Consultant with Champ Software since May of 2009. She works with agencies on the coordination and implementation of Nightingale Notes EHR Software including holding webinars, providing recommendations based on program-specific requirements, as well as facilitating regional user groups.

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