We are in the midst of an epidemic of prescription drug abuse. Estimates are that over 16 million Americans are abusing prescription drugs. On a daily basis in emergency rooms, over 7,000 people are treated as a result of prescription drug abuse. A big part of this issue is the use of opioids, or drugs used to kill pain. These powerful drugs are used to treat patients with moderate to severe pain, generally as a result of surgery, injury or treatment for health conditions such as cancer. Studies indicated that people can become addicted on just one prescription. The use or abuse of these prescriptions can lead to a tolerance to the drug, requiring a higher dose of the substance to achieve the desired results. Studies show that the costs of this epidemic are about $72 million dollars a year! With the epidemic growing, healthcare is turning to data quality tools and analytics to help reverse this dangerous trend.
Federal and state agencies are partnering in safe prescribing practices and prescription drug monitoring programs. These programs have had minimal impact on the epidemic and now more aggressive approaches are being sought. The landscape of the industry requires close attention to security of the data and protection of patient privacy. With those parameters in mind, collecting, preparing and analyzing fragmented data is no small feat. However, analytics is the most powerful tool in the hands of healthcare to become aggressive in reversing the abuse. Government and healthcare organizations will be able to quickly access patient records, tracking patterns and responding in a timely manner to abnormal behavior or patterns. Analytics will also empower pharmacies, doctors and hospitals to get real-time information on prescription activities and respond in a manner that is in the best interest of the patient, while preventing abuse or fraud.
Experts agree that analytics will be the right tool to aggressively attack this epidemic in 2015. This will be the year that experts will be able to reverse the deadly trend of abuse that plagues the nation, saving both lives and money along the way. Benefits of the initiatives will immediately be felt across the industry and result in best practices that work for all.
Data Ladder is the right partner for healthcare in attacking this dangerous epidemic. With our premier software, DataMatch Enterprise, organizations will be able to start seeing success in this effort. Visit Data Ladder and download a free trial of the software.