Epic's naloxone script reminders working at Nebraska Medicine

Prescriptions for the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone have increased dramatically at Omaha-based Nebraska Medicine since the health system put a prescribing reminder in its Epic EHR, the vendor said in an Aug. 1 report.

Whenever Nebraska Medicine providers prescribe opioids, an advisory pops up on the EHR reminding them to also place an order for naloxone. Once Nebraska Medicine instituted the co-prescribing notice in August 2021, naloxone prescriptions increased from a total of 145 in the five months prior to more than 3,200 in the five months after.

Nebraska Medicine's Kristin Daniel, PharmD, a pain medicine stewardship pharmacist, designed the advisory with colleagues Alëna Balasanova, MD, an addiction psychiatrist, and Chris Bultsma, PharmD, a pharmacist who works with Epic's Willow pharmacy application.

"We've had patients reach out and ask why they need naloxone because they're not 'drug addicts' and don't think they need it," Dr. Balasanova stated in the Epic report. "So, we make sure that our providers have the right scripts to explain to patients why they should fill the prescription and that accidental opioid overdose can happen to anyone."

Epic also offered the program to other healthcare providers across Nebraska and said prescriptions for the drug have increased statewide as well.

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