Fighting the Opioid Crisis By Improving Access to WA Database

Bill Lober

Professor Bill Lober

The opioid crisis affects communities across the US. Washington State is addressing the opioid crisis by leveraging state and federal resources to reduce the harms of opioid misuse. This includes a one-year Washington State Department of Health (DOH) initiative to improve access to the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP). The initiative is funded through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under the PARTNERSHIP Aand part of the initiative funds a collaboration between DOH, the UW School of Nursing, and colleagues from across the University of Washington.

Professor Bill Lober, in the UW Departments of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Informatics (BNHI) and Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education (BIME), leads an effort to research and develop novel, standards-based informatics methods that improve access to and effective use of the information contained in the PMP data repository. The PMP collects state-wide records for opioid prescription and dispensing, and provides that information to medical providers and pharmacists as a tool to improve patient care. The goal of the effort is to improve PMP functionality and interoperability with Electronic Health Record systems across the state, to enhance the availability and usefulness to healthcare providers of the information in the PMP.  The Clinical Informatics Research Group (CIRG) project team includes faculty, staff, and students from the Departments of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Informatics (SON/BNHI) and Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education (SOM/BIME).  Dr. Janet Baseman, Professor of Epidemiology and Associate Dean for Public Health Practice in the School of Public Health, is leading a parallel effort focused on assessment and technical assistance for health care providers in WA State.

The project period continues through September, 2020.