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by Cerner Corporation | Joanne Hatfield
Published on June 5, 2019

The term ‘opioid’ is in the news about every day now it seems, as our country faces one of the biggest epidemics in its history. The opioid epidemic or opioid crisis describes the rapid increase in the use of prescription and non-prescription opioid drugs in the United States and Canada - beginning in the late 1990s and continuing throughout the next two decades.

The increase in opioid overdose deaths has been dramatic, and opioids were responsible for nearly 49,000 of the 72,000 overall drug overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2017. The rate of prolonged opioid use is also increasing globally.

In the midst of this epidemic, many organizations are still early in the development of their opioid stewardship efforts. Some organizations, such as Truman Medical Centers, have successfully expanded their pain management and opioid stewardship services through pharmacists.

On this episode of Perspectives on Health and Tech, we’re joined by Joanne Hatfield, Pharm.D., BCPS, Clinical Lead Pharmacist, Pain Management at Truman Medical Centers, to discuss how they are promoting opioid stewardship. Joanne answers the following questions:

  • How have we reached this current state in the opioid epidemic? How critical is the role of health care IT in helping solve this growing national and global issue?

  • What is the role of a pharmacist in combatting the opioid crisis?

  • What results, if any, has your organization realized through promoting opioid stewardship?

  • What are some of the biggest technical and organizational challenges you faced when implementing new approaches or workflows?

  • What do the next two to three years look like for the opioid epidemic? What needs to happen to help us solve this issue?

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