Indiana, Ohio drug tracking databases show promise

Nearly every state – all but Missouri – have databases that track commonly abused prescription drugs, but many are technologically deficient, and their usefulness varies. But two states, Indiana and Ohio, have launched pilot programs that may change the face of prescription drug monitoring, according to this article.

In Indiana, officials are using a health system with electronic health records in place, so whenever a patient is admitted to, discharged or transferred from the emergency room, that order will trigger the Indiana Scheduled Prescription Electronic Collection and Tracking program (INSPECT) to upload information about the patient’s drug history to the records system, the article says.

And in Ohio, patients are given a numeric score using a software program that indicates their risk of abuse. If the score is over a certain threshold, the provider receives an alert, the article says.

Separately, local health officials in southern Ohio adopted a high-tech fingerprint scanning system earlier this year in a bid to curb prescription drug abuse. Under that one-year pilot program, patients must submit to a fingerprint scan to see a doctor at Holzer Heath System, which operates two hospitals in the region. They must also use fingerprint IDs to get their prescriptions filled at certain pharmacies.

About Erin Marie Daly

I’m a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. My book on prescription drug and heroin addiction was published in August 2014 by Counterpoint Press.
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