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by Cerner Corporation
Published on May 14, 2019

Cerner, a global health platform and innovation company, and DrFirst, a leading provider of medication management and data solutions, are working together on a new and innovative offering to help providers tackle the opioid epidemic. By streamlining the connection from a person’s electronic health record (EHR) to each state’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) database, physicians will have nationwide access to patient prescription drug information.

With DrFirst, Cerner will be able to connect the EHR to PDMPs in 46 states and Washington, D.C., with other states expected as they become available. Prescription drug and dispensed information collected in these state-specific databases are used to inform safer prescribing, support drug education efforts, research drug addiction and prevent substance use disorder. Assisting physicians to more effectively and efficiently connect to PDMPs helps support safer pain management, identify and mitigate risk factors and more easily manage populations at high risk for substance use disorder.

“Access to prescription drug data within and across state lines can help identify and prevent drug-seeking behaviors, as well as inform physicians of a person’s history to help avoid misuse and guide treatment decisions,” said Eva Karp, senior vice president and chief clinical and patient safety officer, Cerner. “At a time when the opioid epidemic continues to grow, it’s important that we transform health care for the patient, advancing smarter pain management and timely engagement with individuals to prevent or alleviate substance use disorder. Our work with DrFirst to expedite connections to PDMPs is part of our ongoing commitment to relentlessly seek breakthrough innovation to shape the health care of tomorrow.”

For more than a decade, Cerner has been working to curb the opioid epidemic, engaging with health systems and providers to track and address opioid abuse and misuse. In 2018, Cerner announced its continued commitment to safer pain management with its Opioid Toolkit, a suite of advancements to help hospitals and health systems win the battle against the opioid epidemic. Working with DrFirst is another extension of Cerner’s pledge to deliver better health experiences and outcomes, helping physicians support safe prescribing and mitigate substance use disorder.

“At DrFirst, we have long believed in the importance of connecting prescription drug monitoring data across the country and aggregating opioid-related data for clinicians to use in a standardized in-workflow user experience. We’re confident that this collaboration with Cerner will be hugely impactful for providers as they strive to make use of all relevant data to inform care decisions,” said G. Cameron Deemer, president, DrFirst. “Simplifying clinical workflows helps clinicians quickly review information to support treatment decisions and patient safety. We are proud to work with Cerner to support smarter prescribing and patient safety.”

As states mandate the physician’s review of prescription drug data, it is increasingly important that they can quickly access critical drug information directly within the EHR. Without a more efficient connection to PDMPs, physicians must deal with the cumbersome workflow disruption of accessing external web portals. Streamlining the connection so that prescription drug data appears in a person’s EHR can give back valuable time to providers for patient interactions and conversations about preventing or alleviating substance use disorder. Quicker and straightforward access to this information can also ease compliance with regulatory requirements.