Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Opioid tool on MHS GENESIS improves patient safety

Pharmacist holding out prescription bottle The Opioid Clinical Decision Support Tool helps providers make critical prescription decisions. Nearly 1,000 providers have used the tool since it went live in March 2020. The tool triggers, on average, 81 times a day across seven military medical treatment facilities. (Photo by Jason W. Edwards, Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs)

Recommended Content:

Opioid Safety | Pain Management | MHS GENESIS Toolkit | MHS GENESIS

Providers often prescribe opioids to patients dealing with severe pain. While effective for pain management, opioids can also be highly addictive. Patients can have adverse effects like overdose or death when an opioid is paired with other drugs or given to a patient with high-risk health conditions. As Aug. 31 is recognized as International Overdose Awareness Day, the Military Health System takes the time to recognize the importance of opioid safety. Service members operate in an environment where day-to-day performance is vital to defending the nation.

“Although the active duty population has significantly lower rates of opioid addiction and abuse than the civilian population, the Military Health System takes a proactive approach to combat opioid overuse, misuse, and diversion,” said Air Force Maj. (Dr.) David Alt, deputy chief of User Acceptance and Analysis at the Defense Health Agency. “We hope to serve as a role model for pain management across the care continuum."

This proactive approach led to a new tool within the military’s new electronic health record, MHS GENESIS. The Opioid Clinical Decision Support Tool screens a patient’s medical history before an opioid is prescribed. The tool looks at other opioid prescriptions, behavioral health history, co-prescription of sedatives like benzodiazepines, and laboratory drug tests. It then creates an alert that lets providers know about multiple high-risk conditions and allows them to modify the orders in real time.

Before this tool was implemented, providers received multiple overlapping alerts for the same issue. While useful for noticing prescription conflicts, Alt said the potential volume could lead to “alert fatigue” ­ health care providers receiving so many warnings that they become desensitized and potentially ignore them. He added the decision tool prevents this alert fatigue by consolidating all the opioid-related alerts onto a single screen, ensuring the provider gets the right information.

“The tool makes it easier for providers to do the right thing, and harder to do the wrong thing,” Alt said. “And ultimately that makes it safer for the patient.”

The tool already helps providers make critical prescription decisions. The tool’s morphine equivalent calculator helps providers judge how much of an opioid is needed to relieve pain – or put a patient at risk – regardless of the specific opioid prescribed. The tool also suggests additional prescriptions like naloxone, which can help reverse an opioid overdose.

Nearly 1,000 providers have used the tool since it went live in March 2020. The tool triggers, on average, 81 times a day across seven military medical treatment facilities.

“Providers have changed their prescribing behavior about 6% of the time,” Alt said. “This translates to 767 interventions since the tool was deployed in March ­ and it's only been rolled out to a small segment of the military population.”

The Opioid Clinical Decision Tool is one of many ways the Department of Defense looks at pain management, according to retired Army Col. (Dr.) Chester Buckenmaier, program director at the Defense and Veterans Center for Integrative Pain Management under the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Innovative practices like revising the pain rating scale and opioid safety resources like the Opioid Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution program have helped the military increase quality of life for patients.

“It might be shocking to hear, but opioids are not bad,” Buckenmaier said. “As an Army anesthesiologist, I would never want to deploy without these tools. But you need to look at which situations stateside need opioids and manage how you’re prescribing them. I think the military is in a leadership position in developing those policies and tools.”

Alt hopes that the Opioid Clinical Decision Tool will be a valuable addition in helping the military safely manage pain for all patients.

“This tool will play a vital role in our ability to optimize opioid therapy, minimize patient risk, and address the epidemic of addiction that faces America,” Alt said.

Visit Health.mil for more information on opioid safety in the military.

You also may be interested in...

Improving inpatient care with MHS GENESIS

Article
10/2/2019
Charles Cumiskey and Lt. Col. Sherie Johnson show charge nurses at Madigan Army Medical Center some of the finer points of Clairvia on Sept. 17. Clairvia is a workload management tool in MHS GENESIS. (Photo Credit: Suzanne Ovel)

With MHS GENESIS....nursing assignments can now be refined to both ensure each nurse has the appropriate workload and continues to safely build their skills

Recommended Content:

Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM) Program Office | MHS GENESIS | Nurses Week

MHS GENESIS / Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization Electronic Health Record (DHMSM EHR)

Form/Template
9/30/2019

This Military Health System (MHS) Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) summarizes the MHS GENESIS / Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization Electronic Health Record (DHMSM EHR)

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS | Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM) Program Office

DS Logon

Video
8/15/2019
DHA Seal

This video describes the various portals you can access through your DS Logon account

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Health Program | Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM) Program Office | MHS GENESIS | MHS GENESIS Toolkit

Break Down Barriers to Care Poster

Publication
8/13/2019

This is a poster to promote MHS GENESIS

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS Toolkit | MHS GENESIS

MHS GENESIS Patient Portal Brochure

Publication
8/13/2019

This brochure includes information on the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal. Print and leave throughout your facility.

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS Toolkit

MHS GENESIS Patient Portal Fact Sheet

Publication
8/13/2019

This fact sheet includes information on the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal. Print and leave throughout your facility.

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS Toolkit | MHS GENESIS

MHS GENESIS Patient Portal Business Card

Publication
8/13/2019

This is a business card with information on the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal for staff and providers to hand out to patients.

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS Toolkit | MHS GENESIS

MHS GENESIS Patient Portal Brochure

Publication
8/7/2019

This is the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal Brochure, which describes what the Patient Portal is and how to access it.

Recommended Content:

Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM) Program Office | MHS GENESIS | MHS GENESIS Toolkit

MHS GENESIS Cybersecurity Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet
7/30/2019

This fact sheet describes the MHS GENESIS Cybersecurity transformation.

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS | MHS GENESIS Toolkit

MHS GENESIS Patient Portal Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet
7/30/2019

This fact sheet describes the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | MHS GENESIS Toolkit

MHS GENESIS Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet
7/30/2019

This fact sheet describes the DoD’s electronic health record, MHS GENESIS.

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS | MHS GENESIS Branding | MHS GENESIS Toolkit

Opioid Abuse and Non-Opiate Pain Management

Congressional Testimony
7/12/2019

H.R. 6157, HAC Report for FY 2019, 115-769, Pg. 298

Recommended Content:

Opioid Safety | Pain Management

Opioid Safety Do's and Don'ts

Infographic
6/7/2019
This infographic provides a list of do's and don'ts if you or a loved one is prescribed an opioid.

This infographic provides a list of do's and don'ts if you or a loved one is prescribed an opioid.

Recommended Content:

Opioid Safety

Genesis of MHS GENESIS

Video
6/6/2019
Genesis of MHS GENESIS

This video describes all of the ways MHS GENESIS will benefit your healthcare throughout your military career and beyond.

Recommended Content:

Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM) Program Office | MHS GENESIS | MHS GENESIS Toolkit

Acute vs. Chronic Pain

Infographic
6/6/2019
This infographic describes the difference between acute pain and chronic pain.

This infographic describes the difference between acute pain and chronic pain

Recommended Content:

Pain Management
<< < ... 6 7 8 > >> 
Showing results 76 - 90 Page 6 of 8

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.