Sara Peters: IT Could Help Control 'Controlled Substances'
Healthcare IT could help the government monitor prescription drugs on the FDA's "controlled substances" list – but instead, they use less technology, use more paper, and create more hoops for patients like Sara to jump through.
Sounds like a frustrating system! More monitoring of drug abuse is so imperative in today's society, but should not be such an inconvenience for the no addicted population. This is a database that needs to be perfected for the safety of all people involved.
@mejiac @Susan Here's hoping! I think it's more of a cultural problem than a technological problem. But maybe some innovative CIO who IS a great communicator can make some progress on the cultural side of things.
Two years ago, in Utah, we began working with pharmacies to integrate our controlled substance database system with a real-time solution so that controlled substance data is always up-to-date. This dramatically decreases the workload for the pharmacy, but also ensures that the data the state has is current and reliable. It also provides additional protection for the patient. The solution is internet-based and has reduced the average time for data updates down from 12 days to less than a day (real-time in many cases).
@Susan Nunziata: "Let's hope some innovative CIOs can break through the barriers." I think this is what I was refering to...to provide a technology vehicle that'll allow to satify policy makes and at the same time make things more accesible.
@Mejiac: It will be hard for IT to help, as Sara suggests, unless the organizations and the government first change their policies and practices. IT will have a hard time selling any solutions until those in charge are willing to consider changes. Let's hope some innovative CIOs can break through the barriers.
Thanks for sharing your story Sara. Frustrating indeed. There are a number of issues at play here. One is, of course, how the heck certain medications end up "controlled substances". But the other, as you rightly note, is why there can't be a rock solid electronic way for said "controlled substances" to be dispensed to patients without so much difficulty. If you're having this much trouble, I shudder to think what an elderly cancer patient might face if they were to be put on some sort of "controlled substance." Alarming, indeed.
@Dave I'm not sure. I'll have to look into it. But so far none of the doctors or pharmacists that I've spoken to have told me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I'll just have to wait and see.
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