How Atrium Health prevented 23K high-risk opioid prescriptions

Atrium Health developed an EHR alert system that can assess a patient's history with controlled substances to better prevent high-risk opioid prescriptions.

The PRIMUM system — short for Prescription Reporting with Immediate Medication Utilization Mapping — flags the EHRs of patients who have evidence-based risk factors for opioid abuse, misuse or diversion. The system integrates into a prescriber's existing workflow and offers real-time intelligence to provide an alert before they write a potentially unsafe prescription.

"Our goal was to provide actionable information at the moment it is needed most — before writing a prescription. PRIMUM removes physicians' implicit biases for what an opioid use disorder looks like," Rachel Seymour, PhD, vice chair of research at Atrium Health's Musculoskeletal Institute, said in an issue briefing from the health system.

In the first two years PRIMUM was live, the system identified risk factors in 25 percent of patients, preventing more than 23,000 high-risk prescriptions systemwide.

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