Partners First to Integrate Mass. Opioid Prescription Monitoring Into EHR

March 15, 2019
Patients’ controlled substance prescription information is immediately available at the point of care

Partners HealthCare has integrated the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Prescription Awareness Tool (MassPAT) directly into its Epic electronic health record (EHR) system. The Boston-based health system says this makes it the first healthcare network to have the tool immediately available to clinicians at the point of care.

The Commonwealth’s goal is to align providers across Massachusetts on a common platform to monitor opioid prescriptions. “A critical piece of helping to prevent over-prescription of opioids is ensuring that providers have an accurate picture of patients’ prescription history, and MassPAT is an integral part of the Commonwealth’s strategy to support and connect health care providers,” said Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health Monica Bharel, M.D., M.P.H., in a prepared statement. “Having the Partners HealthCare system fully integrated and focused on ensuring that its clinicians have access to this tool is an important advancement in our collective efforts to curb the opioid epidemic.” 

More than two-thirds of Massachusetts residents who died from an opioid-related overdose between 2011 and 2014 had a legal opioid prescription at some point during that time period, according to a recent report conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Non-fatal overdoses in the state also increased by close to 200 percent between 2011 and 2015.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed legislation that created MassPAT in 2016, and Massachusetts was one of the first states in the nation to impose a seven-day limit on first-time prescriptions of opioids to patients and mandate that all prescribers check the prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) before prescribing Schedule II or III substances.

Partners’ integration of MassPAT into its EHR will further assist prescribers by making a patient’s controlled substance prescription information immediately available to them within the patient’s electronic clinical chart. “By viewing a patient’s prescription information in MassPAT, Partners’ providers are better informed about their patient’s medication use, can avoid duplication of drug therapies and can coordinate care by communicating with other prescribers to improve clinical outcomes,” said Thomas Sequist, M.D., M.P.H., Partners’ chief quality and safety officer, in a prepared statement.

The Commonwealth has a statewide license with Appriss Health for its PMP Gateway solution, and Partners’ EHR is connected to MassPAT through PMP Gateway. The platform enables access to PDMP information, resources and more within real-time care team workflow to help providers make more informed clinical decisions at the point of care.

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