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Patient Safety

Four Effective Opioid Interventions for Healthcare Leaders

The crisis of opioid abuse in the U.S. is well known. What may not be so well known are the ways for clinicians and healthcare systems to minimize misuse of these addictive drugs. This article describes the risks for patients when they are prescribed opioids and the need for opioid intervention. It offers four approaches that healthcare systems can take to tackle the crisis while still relieving pain and suffering for the patients they serve:

  1. Use data and analytics to inform strategies that reduce opioid availability
  2. Adopt prescription drug monitoring programs to prevent misuse
  3. Adopt evidence-based guidelines
  4. Consider promising state strategies for dealing with prescription opioid overdose
Opioid misuse is a public health epidemic, but treatments are available and it’s time for those involved in the delivery of healthcare to change practices.

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How to Use Data to Improve Patient Safety

Healthcare organizations have worked hard to improve patient safety over the past several decades, however harm is still occurring at an unacceptable rate. Though the healthcare industry has made efforts (largely regulatory) to reduce patient harm, these measures are often not integrated with health system quality improvement efforts and may not result in fewer adverse events. This is largely because they fail to integrate regulatory data with improvement initiatives and, thus, to turn patient harm information into actionable insight. Fully integrated clinical, cost, and operational data coupled with predictive analytics and machine learning are crucial to patient safety improvement. Tools that leverage this methodology will identify risk and suggest interventions across the continuum of care.

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