Kentucky hospitals developing data-sharing tool to flag patient ER, prescription abuse

The Kentucky Hospital Association and Kentucky Office of Rural Health  have teamed up with a software company to develop a statewide hospital data-sharing network, according to local NPR news station WKU.

Many of the hospitals within the two organizations use different EHRs, making data-sharing difficult. The care coordination network would seamlessly share patient information between hospitals to identify at-risk patients.

Through the data-sharing tool, providers and staff will be able to track which hospitals a patient has visited and the controlled substance prescriptions the patient may have received. Using Collect Medical software, providers will be alerted in real time of a patient's record of visits to different hospitals.

Kentucky has another prescription-monitoring database, KASPER, which requires providers to search for patients' prescription history.  

Hospitals that use the care coordination network also will be able to track patients who are high-users of emergency rooms. The tool would include patients who visit an ER more than five times per year.

Elizabethtown, Ky.-based Hardin Memorial Hospital and Prestonsburg, Ky.-based Highland Regional Hospital already are using the tool. Another 34 hospitals are in the processes of joining the network.

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