Easy Tweak to Hospital Pc Program Cuts Opioid Prescriptions

News Picture: Simple Tweak to Hospital Computer Program Cuts Opioid Prescriptions

TUESDAY, Jan. 21, 2020 (HealthDay Information) — May a easy pc hack assist make a dent within the opioid epidemic?


New analysis means that the variety of painkillers prescribed to sufferers will be diminished simply by decreasing default pc settings that show a preset variety of tablets.

That easy change led medical doctors at two California hospitals to prescribe fewer opioids, and the strategy may enhance opioid prescribing practices elsewhere and assist stop addiction, the researchers mentioned.

Prescription opioids are a key a part of the U.S. opioid disaster, the authors of the brand new research defined.


“It is putting that even within the present atmosphere, the place medical doctors know in regards to the dangers from opioids and are typically considerate about prescribing them, this intervention affected prescribing habits,” mentioned senior writer Dr. Maria Raven. She is chief of emergency medicine on the College of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

“The findings are actually thrilling due to their potential to influence affected person care at a big degree. Decreasing the portions of opioids prescribed could assist shield sufferers from creating opioid use dysfunction,” she mentioned in a college information launch.

For the research, Raven’s group reviewed opioid prescribing in emergency departments at UCSF Medical Heart and Highland Hospital in Oakland, Calif., between November 2016 and July 2017.


Over 20 weeks, the researchers randomly modified default settings on digital medical information for generally prescribed opioids similar to oxycodone, Percocet and Norco. They tweaked the settings for 4 weeks at a time.

The defaults for pain medicines had been 12 tablets at Highland and 20 tablets at UCSF. The researchers modified these to 5, 10 and 15 tablets, and in addition to a clean setting that required medical doctors to enter the variety of tablets they needed for every affected person. In all, four,320 opioid prescriptions have been analyzed.

The consequence: Decrease defaults have been related to decrease quantities of opioids prescribed and fewer orders that exceeded prescribing suggestions from the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.


In keeping with lead research writer Dr. Juan Carlos Montoy, assistant professor of emergency medicine at UCSF, “Each digital well being report all through the nation already has default settings for opioids. What we have proven is that default settings matter, and will be modified to enhance opioid prescribing.”

Montoy famous that tweaking default settings does not price something and nonetheless lets medical doctors do what they suppose is finest for every affected person.

“The opioid epidemic is advanced and this definitely will not repair it,” he added. “However it’s another device we will use to handle it.”


The research was printed Jan. 21 in JAMA Inside Drugs.

— Robert Preidt

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SOURCE: College of California, San Francisco, information launch, Jan. 21, 2020

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